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BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS

*ALL NEW VIRTUAL TOURS*

We know you are missing the animals and now we have just the way to get your animal fix! We’re now offering private or group Virtual Behind the Scenes Tours and Virtual Birthday Parties are coming soon! Choose one of the two options below:

private virtual Tours

During this one-on-one virtual experience, you will get an intimate look at the animals living at Virginia Zoo. Be introduced to a Zoo Keeper who can share information about the animals they care for as only they know them!

Private virtual tour options include:

  • Australia
  • Birds of Prey
  • Bison
  • Malayan Tiger
  • Masai Giraffe
  • Orangutan
  • Red River Hog
  • Rhino Hornbill
  • Siamese Crocodile Training
  • Sloth
  • World of Reptiles
  • White Rhino

For just $75, enjoy a real-time virtual encounter with a keeper and an animal of your choice! Just select an animal from the list and pick a date to get behind-the-scenes access with them and a keeper in a video conference.

Following the meet-and-greet, you will have the opportunity to have all of your questions answered about your favorite animals, live from home!

The format of this event will start with a short introduction, followed by an approximately 15-minute presentation and conclude with a 10-minute Q&A.

This event is suitable for guests of all ages. After registering online, you will receive a unique link to view the event through the Zoom video platform 24 hours before the tour. Please be sure you access the link prior to the tour to ensure a proper connection.

UPGRADE YOUR TOUR TO THE VIP PACKAGE!

Looking for an even more exclusive virtual tour package?  For $200 you can have a tour with Virginia Zoo Executive Director, Greg Bockheim.

The format of this event will start with a short introduction, followed by an approximately 15-minute presentation and conclude with a 20-minute Q&A.

Please fill in the form below

Virtual Group Tours
During this virtual experience, you will get an intimate look at the animals living at Virginia Zoo. Be introduced to a Zoo Keeper who can share information about the animals they care for as only they know them!
Following the meet-and-greet, you will have the opportunity to ask moderated questions about your favorite animals, live from home!
The format of this event will start with a short introduction, followed by an approximately 15-minute presentation and conclude with a 10-minute Q&A.
This event is $15 per login and is suitable for guests of all ages. After registering online, you will receive a unique link to view the event through the Zoom video platform 24 hours before the tour. Please be sure you access the link prior to the tour to ensure a proper connection.
Space is limited. Virtual Tours can accommodate up to 20 logins.
  • Monday, May 25 at 2 pm – Giraffe
  • Wednesday, June 3 at 2 pm – Australia
  • Sunday, June 7 at 2 pm – Tiger
  • Monday, June 15 at 10 am – World of Reptiles
  • Friday, June 19 at Noon – Sloth
  • Saturday, June 27 at 10 am – Bison

 

*Tour may be canceled due to low registration or animal needs.

IN-PERSON BEHIND THE SCENES TOURS

Currently, these tours are not being offered. Please check back for availability beginning Fall 2020.

Learn about animal care, behavior and conservation on an up-close and personal behind the scenes tour! Be introduced to a Zoo Keeper who can share information about the animals they care for as only they know them! Meet our rhinos, stand tall with the giraffes, roar with the lions, meet an almost-century old tortoise, slither with some reptiles, or encounter wallabies and emus! See a tapir in close proximity, watch a sun bear or moon bear during a training session, set up enrichment for a Red River hog, learn more about the bison or chill with a sloth! The Virginia Zoo offers you once in a lifetime animal tours filled with memorable experiences and fascinating information. Each tour is certain to cross off that item on your bucket list, as it will offer you and your family or friends the breathtaking experience of seeing the world’s most dramatic wildlife.

Funds raised from behind the scenes tours helps to support the Zoos’ animal care internship program. This program offers participants unique and specialized training, giving them the experience necessary to become the animal care experts of the future. The Zoo Keeper internship program is open to local and national participants and runs year-round.

All tours include park admission.

Space is limited.  Two week advance reservations are required — remember to confirm your reservation prior to your tour day.

* The animals have specialized diets, so please avoid bringing any human food or beverages into animal areas or, if needed, keep them unopened and tucked away in a bag held by an adult. You can help keep the animals safe by having parents or guardians hold on to any toys or items that could fall into animal areas. Tour activities are dependent upon each animal’s cooperation. 

TOURS OFFERED

Aldabra Tortoise

Daily at 9:30 am

On this tour, guests will have the opportunity to get up-close with these slow-moving reptile giants inside their exhibit! Learn more about these impressive animals, their conservation status, and what it takes to care for them from Zoo Keepers. Guests will get a chance to meet AJ, the Zoo’s largest and oldest Aldabra tortoise!

Cost:

• Family of 5: $250 non-members,

$200 members

• Friends of 2: $150 non-members,

$100 member

• Additional adult: $50

• Additional child: $30

Australia

Daily at 2 pm; seasonal due to breeding

On this tour, guests will have the opportunity to hop on over and get a closer look at the animals inside the Australia Walkabout exhibit, including wallabies and emus! Learn more about these incredible animals, their conservation status, and what it takes to care for them from Zoo Keepers. Guests will also get a closer look at the colorful cassowaries adjacent to the Australia Walkabout!

Cost:

• Family of 5: $250 non-members,

   $200 members

• Friends of 2: $150 non-members,

   $100 members

• Additional adult: $50

• Additional child: $30

Bison

Daily at 10 am

On this tour, guests will have the opportunity to go behind the scenes to get a closer look at our two bison, Lily and Oakley! Learn more about these amazing animals, their conservation status, and what it takes to care for them from Zoo Keepers. This tour is a great way to meet and honor our National Mammal!

Cost:

• Family of 5: $250 non-members,

   $200 members

• Friends of 2: $150 non-members,

   $100 members

• Additional adult: $50

• Additional child: $30

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Masai Giraffe

Daily at 2 pm

On this tour, guests will have the opportunity to get up-close with these graceful giants! Learn more about these amazing animals, their conservation status, and what it takes to care for them from Zoo Keepers. Guests will also get the chance to offer giraffes Billy, Imara or Noelly some of their daily diet – no ladders necessary!

Cost:

• Family of 5: $300 non-members,

   $250 members

• Friends of 2: $200 non-members,

   $150 members

• Additional adult: $60

• Additional child: $40

African Lion

Daily at 9:30 am

On this tour, guests will have the opportunity to get a closer look at the Zoo’s pride of African lions! Learn more about these incredible big cats, their conservation status, and what it takes to care for them from Zoo Keepers. Guests will get the chance to go behind-the-scenes and see dad Mramba, mom Zola, and (growing) cub Emery!

Cost:

• Family of 5: $300 non-members,

   $250 members

• Friends of 2: $200 non-members,

   $150 members

• Additional adult: $60

• Additional child: $40

Guidelines: A maximum of 5 guests per tour. Children must be at least 8 years of age, with at least one adult accompanying each child under 12.

Moon Bear

Daily at 9:30 am or 2 pm

On this tour, guests will have the opportunity to get a closer look at the Moon Bears! Learn more about these amazing animals, their conservation status, and what it takes to care for them from Zoo Keepers. Guests will get the chance to go behind-the-scenes and see a training or enrichment session up close with one of our Moon Bear brothers, Thai or Chai.

Cost:

• Family of 5: $300 non-members, $250 members

• Friends of 2: $200 non-members, $150 members

• Additional adult: $60

• Additional child: $40

Guidelines: A maximum of 5 guests per tour. Every 2 children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Red River Hog

Daily at 9:30 am

On this tour, guests will have the opportunity to get a closer look at the incredible Red River hog! Learn more about these amazing animals, their conservation status, and what it takes to care for them from Zoo Keepers. Guests will get the chance to go behind the scenes and see a training or enrichment session up close with Oboi, our male Red River hog. Come meet one of the most charismatic and brightly colored wild hog species!

Cost:

• Family of 5: $250 non-members,

$200 members

• Friends of 2: $150 non-members,

$100 members

• Additional adult: $50

• Additional child: $30

Guidelines: A maximum of 8 guests can enter the red river hog area at a time; please inquire about larger groups.

White Rhino

Daily at 2 pm

On this tour, guests will have the opportunity to get up-close to one or more of our three rhinos! Learn more about Southern white rhinos, their conservation status, and what it takes to care for them from Zoo Keepers. Guests will get the chance to go behind the scenes and meet either Bora, Zina or Sibindi in person! Tours could be held inside their overnight barn or behind the scenes outdoors, depending on the weather. Come visit our rhino crash and experience meeting the world’s second-largest land mammal!

Cost:

• Family of 5: $300 non-members, $250 members

• Friends of 2: $200 non-members, $150 members

• Additional adult: $60

• Additional child: $40

Two-Toed Sloth

Daily at 9:30 am

On this tour, slow down and enjoy this private encounter with KC the sloth! Learn more about sloths, their conservation status, and what it takes to care for them from the Zoo staff that work with KC. Guests will have the chance to get up-close with one of the slower-moving animals on earth, so be sure to bring a camera to capture a priceless photo opportunity!

Cost:

• Family of 5: $300 non-members,

$250 members

• Friends of 2: $200 non-members,

$150 members

• Additional adult: $60

• Additional child: $40

Sun Bear

Temporarily unavailable

On this tour, guests will get the opportunity to get a closer look at the smallest of bear species! Learn more about these incredible animals, their conservation status, and what it takes to care for them from Zoo Keepers. Guests will have the chance to go behind the scenes and see a sun bear up-close, with the potential to watch a training or enrichment session. Keep your eyes out for the sun bear’s long tongue, which helps them reach honey and insects inside trees (or from a Zoo Keeper) easily!

Cost:

• Family of 5: $300 non-members,

   $250 members

• Friends of 2: $200 non-members,

   $150 members

• Additional adult: $60

• Additional child: $40

Guidelines: A maximum of 8 guests can enter the Sun bear area at a time; please inquire about larger groups.

Malayan Tapir

Daily at 9:30 am

On this tour, guests will get the opportunity to get a closer look at the largest of the tapir species, the Malayan tapir! Learn more about these amazing animals, their conservation status, and what it takes to care for them from Zoo Keepers. Guests will have the chance to go behind the scenes to see one or more of our tapirs up close, with the potential to watch a training or enrichment session with tapirs Rosco or Haddie. Did you know that tapirs are most closely related to rhinos and horses? Learn more on a tapir tour!

Cost:

• Family of 5: $300 non-members,

   $250 members

• Friends of 2: $200 non-members,

   $150 members

• Additional adult: $60

• Additional child: $40

Guidelines: A maximum of 10 guests can enter the tapir area at a time; please inquire about larger groups.

World of Reptiles

Daily at 9:30 am

Come face to face with reptile giants, watch hatching and newborn reptiles being nurtured and raised, and immerse yourself in a floor to ceiling marsh habitat of the Siamese crocodile.* Learn about animal care, behavior and conservation on an up-close and personal behind the scenes tour! Be introduced to a Zoo Keeper who can share information about the animals they care for as only they know them! *Specific animals seen on the tour will vary.

Cost:

• Family of 5: $250 non-members,

$200 members

• Friends of 2: $150 non-members,

$100 members

• Additional adult: $50

• Additional child: $30

Guidelines: A maximum of 5 guests per tour.

Animal Wellness Campus Tours

Next date: Coming soon!

On this tour, guests will have the exclusive chance to see inside the Animal Wellness Campus! Learn what it takes to be a Zoo Vet and how the Zoo cares for its more than 700 animals. Learn about animal medicine and tour the facility to see areas that may include:*
• The Lab and Pharmacy
• Surgery and Treatment Room
• Animal Quarantine Area
• The Diet Kitchen

Cost:

• Members: $30 per person

• Non-members: $50 per person

Tours can take up to 10 people. Minimum Age for participants is 10.  All tours include park admission. Space is limited.  Closed-toe shoes are required — no open-toed shoes, including sandals, will be permitted in animal areas.

*Some areas may be closed due to sensitive animal restrictions.

PURCHASE HERE.

Train Engineer for a Day

Daily at 9 am

All aboard and become a Norfolk Southern Express engineer! Get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be a part of a top Virginia Zoo attraction. As the Train Engineer of the Day, you will receive an honorary train engineer license, five FREE train rides to use throughout the year, the opportunity to work alongside the Norfolk Southern Express engineer as they conduct safety checks and morning maintenance, train whistle blowing privileges for the morning’s first departure, announcement of name over the PA system as Engineer for the Day, an engineer’s cap, bandana and train whistle, recognition at the Beazley Foundation Train Station as the Engineer of the Day, a certificate as a reminder of your special day, and admission for engineer and one guest. Additional guests may be added for additional cost.

Cost:

• Members: $89

• Non-members: $99

Read more HERE.