NEW! Backstage Encounter
Secrets of the Zoo Backstage Encounter
Back by popular demand! Are you a fan of the NatGeo WILD television series, Secrets of the Zoo: Tampa? Season 3 is still under production, but you can get your fix now of the wild behind-the-scenes adventures of the amazing animals that live at ZooTampa and the dedicated team entrusted with their care. Go on an unprecedented tour with one of our “stars” and get exclusive updates on the animals you love. From rhinos to manatees, find out ALL the secrets and spend your morning on an adventure you will not forget.
*Accompanied by paying adult
African Penguin Backstage
Get a behind-the-scenes look at how we care for our endangered African penguins. Meet members of our colony and ask any penguin question you may have from our Animal Care Team.
Indian Rhino Feeding
Get up-close for an unforgettable experience where you get to feed a greater one-horned rhinoceros! Commonly known as an Indian rhino, this rare species is vulnerable to extinction. Plus, learn more about our breeding pair Jamie & Johnny, get exclusive access to the team that cares for these special animals every day.
Aldabra Tortoise Encounter
Did you know the Aldabra tortoise is second only to the Galapagos as the biggest land tortoise in the world? Get up-close with these fascinating reptiles and spend time with the team that cares for these gentle giants.
African Elephant Backstage
What's it like to care for the largest land animal on earth? Find out first-hand how our Animal Care Team utilizes learned behaviors to ensure our African elephants are maintaining optimal health and welfare. Plus, watch a real training session and talk to the professionals who interact with these amazing animals every day.
NEW! Signature Encounter
Manatee Critical Care Center Backstage Encounter
Did you know that ZooTampa is home to the first non-profit manatee critical care facility in the US? At our state-of-the-art David A. Straz, Jr. Critical Care Center, we take in sick, injured, and orphaned manatees and provide them with the specialized care they need so they can be re-introduced back to their native waters. On this backstage tour, you'll go behind the scenes to learn more about what it takes to care for and rehabilitate this treasured Florida species. Plus, meet a member of the dedicated team who cares for them each and every day.
*This tour is recommended for ages 12 & up
Southern White Rhino Backstage
Did you know white rhinos can weigh up to 5,000 pounds? Go behind-the-scenes to the Rhino barn to experience the massive presence of this important animal. You and your family will learn amazing facts from those who care for them at ZooTampa and get to know some of the members of our crash!
Stingray Bay Touch Experience
Get hand-to-fin with a slippery stingray at this FREE up-close animal experience. Feedings may be available for a fee. See a Team Member at the Stingray Bay gift shop for more information.
Lorikeet Landing Aviary
Go inside this free-flight aviary with some of the world's most colorful birds! Feedings may be available at the time of your experience. See a team member at the Lorikeet Landing Aviary for more information.
ZooTampa Animal Encounter Tips & Guidelines
- Admission is required to participate in Signature Encounters. If you have scheduled a Signature Encounter please make a reservation for that date, and purchase your admission ticket if you don’t already have it.
- Masks are required to be worn by all guests participating in Signature Encounters. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided to you.
- 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 is 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 Sloth photo encounter area.
- Encounters are only refundable up to 48 hours in advance of your scheduled Encounter. For refund inquiries please contact our Guest Services team via email or call us at (813) 935-8552 ext 0.
IMPORTANT: Children under the age of 5 may participate in the Aldabra Tortoise Encounter, Sloth Photo Encounter, Lorikeet, and Stingray experiences. All other encounters and experiences require guests to be 5 years or older.
For all animal experiences, children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult.