Prehensile-Tailed Skink

Prehensile-Tailed Skink

This skink gets its name from its tail which can be used curl around objects such as branches for balance.This is the only known species of skink with a prehensile, or grasping, tail.

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Catering at the Zoo

On-Site Educational Programs at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo

SCSD 2013

Are you a teacher, scout leader, or other group leader looking to make the most of your visit to the zoo? Try one of our exciting and education onsite programs! Zoo Safari programs take place during zoo hours, while Flashlight Safari programs take place after hours! Please see the program descriptions below and book your onsite educational program today!

Zoo Safari

Zoo Safari on-site educational programs engage students in hands-on learning during a field trip to the zoo. Zoo educators will work with classroom teachers to tailor a field experience that supports learning taking place in the traditional classroom. Students will visit the zoo's classroom where concepts will be reinforced through a 60 minute multi-media presentation including live animal encounters and animal artifacts such as skulls, furs, and feathers. Depending on the group's size and needs, other unique opportunities such as a visit to the zoo's diet kitchen, a chat with a zookeeper, and animal enrichment viewing at an exhibit may be available. Whether your Kindergarten students are learning about what makes a bird a bird or your college students are learning about the genetic management of captive-bred animals, the zoo has a program for you!**

Troop or non-school group leaders! Zoo Safari programs aren't just for schools! Zoo Safaris make great enhancements to a scout badge or patch project! Looking for a unique adventure? Try Flashlight Safaris, our after-hours program!

Cost: $100.00 per program (base)

**Please Note: Zoo Safaris are only offered during the school year, September through June.**

Call (315) 435-8511 x205 today to begin customizing your Zoo Safari program!

For field trips to the zoo without an education program, please call Guest Services at (315) 435-8511 x100.

Zoo Safari in Action!

Second graders from the Syracuse City School District visited the zoo throughout the winter to learn about how animals prepare for winter. Students met an American kestrel, Eastern box turtle, and Virginia opossum  as they learned about migration, hibernation and staying active in CNY during the cold winter months.                                         

Zoo Safari


Second graders from Cherry Road Elementary, Jamesville Elementary, and Soule Road Elementary Schools visited the zoo to learn all about bats. Students met an Eastern screech owl and Tlemeha, the zoo's white-winged vampire bat. Students' knowledge of bats was tested during an interactive and energetic 'bat quiz' in the zoo's classroom.




Flashlight Safari

Are you a group leader looking to give your participants a memorable outing? Bring them to the zoo for an after-hours  adventure! This guided learning experience starts at 7:00 p.m. with evening tours of the animal diet kitchen and social area, an outreach animal visit featuring touchable animals and an after-dark tour of the Wildlife Trails. The evening ends around 10:00 p.m. with a late night snack! The program can be customzied for specific patch/badge requirements or matched up to school curricula.

Cost: $25 per participant; minimum 15 participants or $375

(We require 1 chaperone for every 7 children)

Time: 7-10 p.m.

Ages: 5 and up

Book your Flashlight Safari now by calling Gareth at (315) 435-8511 x357 or email

Onondaga County does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability in employment or the provision of services. Links: Onondaga County's policy, complaint process, and language assistance or disability access issues.