Animal Trailside Encounters

See an animal up-close and talk to an animal keeper about how that species lives in the wild, what it eats, how it fits in the ecosystem, and more.

Discovery carts are stationed nearby with more activities and information. Different animals will be stars at each presentation, so it's a surprise every time!

Although only the keeper touches the animals, this is an opportunity to see individual animals up close.


  • 11:30 am   Wetland Stage (near Wetlands exhibit)
  • 1:30 pm     Forest Stage (near Baker Research Cabin)
  • 3:30 pm     Backyard Stage (near Picnic Pavilion)

A few animals you might see at a Trailside Encounter:
Great Horned Owl
Beaver Painted Turtle
Other featured animals:
  • Striped Skunk
  • Banana Slug
  • Rubber Boa
  • Gopher Snake
  • Kestrel
  • Mallard Duck
  • California Myotis Bat
  • Opossum

Additional impromptu encounters take place throughout the day. Times are subject to change from October through May.

We are sensitive to the needs of the animals involved, so we cannot guarantee a particular animal will be presented on a given day. If the animal being presented gives signs of stress, the presentation may be ended.