Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Animal Encounters

Hear from our experts, ask questions, meet your favorite animal and discover something new during these exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences!

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo has a commitment to providing our visitors with high quality, safe learning experiences that create memories last a lifetime and foster a respect for wildlife and nature conservation.

Animal encounters offer an opportunity for you to learn more about an animal, observe and, in some cases, interact with an individual animal and the zookeeper(s) caring for the species. Your exclusive encounter will allow you to engage with our dedicated professional staff and learn about the attentive care the animal receives, their behaviors, their unique features and the zoo’s extraordinary work to help save threatened and endangered species.

For more information or to reserve your encounter, please contact Heidi Strong, Director of Development
[email protected] | (315) 435-8511 x8526

Encounters must be scheduled a minimum of 2 weeks in advance


Sloth Encounter Photo

Sloth Encounter

Hang with a Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth!

​Have you ever wondered how much time a sloth spends upside down, or how long it takes a sloth to eat? Here’s your chance to find out. During your time with this fan favorite you will learn what goes into the daily care of our sloth ambassador.

  • Each encounter is $50 per person for up to four (4) guests. Minimum of two guests.
  • This experience may last up to 30 minutes.
  • Open to guests 5 years and up. Ages 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
  • While guests will be able to feed the sloths, touching is not allowed.
  • Closed-toed shoes are required - please do not touch the armadillos even though they may scurry around your feet!
  • No photography will be allowed behind the scenes and during the feeding.
  • Admission to Rosamond Gifford Zoo is included
  • Encounters are non-refundable, reservations may be changed up to 3 days before the scheduled date.

Elephant Encounter Photo

Elephant Bath

Wonder what it’s like to care for Asian elephants? Join our Elephant Team and learn firsthand what goes into the daily care of our herd -- while you bathe an elephant! With the support of our keeper staff, you’ll be able to assist in giving an elephant a bath while learning about these amazing animals.

Experience includes:

  • Bathing an elephant and education about elephant care at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.
  • An unforgettable experience lasting 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Admission to Rosamond Gifford Zoo after your experience.

Cost per Experience:

  • This program is for up to four (4) guests.
  • A minimum of two (2) guests are required for this experience.  
  • Each encounter is $100 per person.

PLEASE note:

  • All guests must be age 12 or older. Ages 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Closed-toed shoes are required.
  • Photography is not allowed behind the scenes at the zoo (including elephant baths).
  • Encounters are non-refundable; reservations may be changed up to 3 days prior to the scheduled date.
  • Elephant baths take place Saturdays and Sundays at 9 a.m.
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