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     Backyard Stage (near Picnic Pavilion)

Note: If you are booking a Private Trailside Encounter for a field trip, other times are available.

A few animals you might see at a Trailside Encounter:
circle opposum
Great Horned Owl
Opossum Painted Turtle
Other featured animals:
  • Striped Skunk
  • Banana Slug
  • Barn owl
  • Mallard Duck
  • Little Brown Bat
  • North American Beaver

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.