Up-Close Signature Encounters

Up-Close Signature Encounters

Add amazing moments to your day for just $25 or $15 for Zoo Members.

Reserve your spot now! Space is limited.


African Penguin Backstage*

Waddle on over to meet some fine-feathered friends and get a behind-the-scenes look at how we care for our African penguins. Meet the newest chicks in town and ask any penguin question you may have from our Animal Care Team.

Aldabra Tortoise Encounter

Did you know the Aldabra tortoise is second only to the Galapagos as the biggest land tortoise in the world? The Zoo gives you the chance to get up-close with these fascinating reptiles and spend time with the team that cares for these gentle giants.

Southern White Rhino Backstage*

Did you know white rhinos can weigh up to 5,000 lbs.? Come experience the massive presence of this animal by getting up-close, and learn amazing facts from those who care for them at ZooTampa!

African Elephant Backstage*

2:15pm (Saturday & Sunday Only)
Experience first-hand how our Animal Care Team utilizes learned behaviors to ensure our African elephants are maintaining optimal health and welfare. Watch a training session, see our state-of-the-art elephant barn, and talk to the professionals about how we care for the largest land animal on earth.

Indian Rhino Feeding*

3:00pm | 3:30pm (Saturday & Sunday Only)
Get an up-close, unforgettable experience with a Greater one-horned rhino, commonly known as an Indian Rhino – a rare species vulnerable to extinction. During this once-in-a-lifetime experience, guests will feed and learn about this incredible species.

Koala Photo Encounter Presented by Yob Family Foundation

10:00am (Saturday & Sunday Only)
On this encounter with an adorable marsupial, get up-close to an adorable koala for a koala-ty photo!

New! Giraffe Meet & Greet

Add amazing moments to your day for just $7 or $5 for Zoo Members.

Reserve your spot now! Space is limited.

New! Giraffe Meet & Greet

1:00pm & 1:15pm Monday-Thursday | 11:00am, 11:15am, 1:00pm and 1:15pm Friday-Sunday
Get eye-to-eye with the world’s tallest animal! Learn about our amazing giraffes during a training session with an Animal Care Professional—where you’re the assistant! Get hands-on experience while you get to know our giraffe’s quirky personalities, ask questions, and learn about the positive reinforcement techniques we use with all our animals.

* Children must be age 5 or older to participate in this tour. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult in order to participate in the experience.



  • Please arrive no later than 10 minutes prior to the start time of your experience. Guests who are late may forfeit their spot and will not be eligible for a refund.
  • To ensure safety, participants agree to abide by Zoo safety protocols.
  • Guests may bring a camera; however, there are areas behind-the-scenes which you may be asked not to photograph. Video recording to not permitted behind-the-scenes.
  • Tour components are subject to change without notice due to animal, weather, or staff needs.
  • Service animals are restricted from entering the Koala photo encounter area.