Wild Encounters | Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Thanksgiving Day

The Zoo will be closed on Thursday, November 22 for the holiday.

Wild Encounters

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Get closer than you ever imagined with Wild Encounters at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Shadow a Zoo keeper in the PPG Aquarium to see what it’s like to work with sharks. Meet a sea lion and pose for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity. Even get up-close-and-personal with the rare and endangered red panda.

Each Wild Encounter group tour experience is 30 minutes long and can accommodate up to 8 guests. Guests must be 8 years of age or older to participate in the encounter. Guests under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Spots fill up fast, so make sure to book in advance! Tickets are $60 per person and include Zoo admission. Closed-toed shoes are encouraged. At this time, we are unable to accommodate service animals during Wild Encounters. If you or a group member have a special need or mobility need, please contact us in advance.

To book a Wild Encounter, click “Book Now” in each section below. If you have any questions, contact us at wildencounters@pittsburghzoo.org.

Book now!

See below for availability

Meet the fastest land mammals in the world - cheetahs. With the Cheetah Wild Encounter, you can get up close to this critical species and see what it's like to care for these big cats.

This Wild Encounter will take place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online up to 24 hours in advance. Same-day tickets may be purchased at the admission gates, pending availability.

Closed-toed shoes are encouraged. At this time, we are unable to accommodate service animals during Wild Encounters. If you or a group member have a special need or mobility need, please contact us in advance. Guests must be 8 years of age or older. Guests under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The Cheetah Wild Encounter can accommodate up to four (4) guests on each tour.

Don't wait - spots fill up fast!

Book Cheetahs Now
 

See what it's like to work with giant anteaters! Learn what they eat, how they spend their days, and what it's like for the Zoo keepers that care for these larger-than-life mammals.

This Wild Encounter takes place every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 11 a.m.

Tickets can be purchased online up to 24 hours in advance. Same-day tickets may be purchased at the admission gates, pending availability.

Closed-toed shoes are encouraged. At this time, we are unable to accommodate service animals during Wild Encounters. Guests must be 8 years of age or older. Guests under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. If you or a group member have a special need or mobility need, please contact us in advance.

Don't wait - spots fill up fast!

Book Giant Anteaters Now

Waddle over to the PPG Aquarium to meet some of your favorite feathered friends! Our Macaroni and Gentoo penguins are always excited to meet guests. Bring your camera for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

This Wild Encounter takes place every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online up to 24 hours in advance. Same-day tickets may be purchased at the admission gates, pending availability.

Closed-toed shoes are encouraged. At this time, we are unable to accomodate service animals during Wild Encounters. Guests must be 8 years of age or older. Guests under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. If you or a group member have a special need or mobility need, please contact us in advance.

Don't wait - spots fill up fast!

Book Penguins Now
 

Experience the thrill of being up close with sharks from the Indo-Pacific. Explore our large ocean exhibit in the PPG Aquarium, discover firsthand what it’s like to care for these iconic animals, and learn about the importance of sharks in our oceans.

This Wild Encounter takes place every Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online up to 24 hours in advance.

Closed-toed shoes are encouraged. At this time, we are unable to accommodate service animals during Wild Encounters. If you or a group member have a special need or mobility need, please contact us in advance. Guests must be 8 years of age or older. Guests under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Book Sharks Now

Meet the Zoo’s most popular animal ambassadors up close. A variety of animals, representing more than 30 different species, are featured in the Zoo’s educational programs. A member of our knowledgeable education staff will guide your experience and provide opportunities to touch the animals and pose for photos. Animals may include owls, kinkajou, fennec foxes, or ball pythons. Specific animals will vary for each encounter.

This Wild Encounter takes place every Saturday at 2 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online up to 24 hours in advance.

Closed-toed shoes are encouraged. At this time, we are unable to accommodate service animals during Wild Encounters. If you or a group member have a special need or mobility need, please contact us in advance. Guests must be 8 years of age or older. Guests under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Book Animal Ambassadors Now


Go nose-to-whisker with one of our most charming animals at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium – the red panda. Step into a staff-only area to see what goes into their daily care and learn important conservation information about this unique species.

This Wild Encounter takes place every Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

Tickets can be purchased online up to 24 hours in advance.

Closed-toed shoes are encouraged. At this time, we are unable to accommodate service animals during Wild Encounters. If you or a group member have a special need or mobility need, please contact us in advance. Guests must be 8 years of age or older. Guests under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Book Red Panda Now