by Kelsey Burr, Naples Zoo Marketing Associate

Would you like a painting done by a giraffe? Or a chance to feed a giant anteater? At Naples Zoo,
we are constantly adding new experiences for our guests, to get them closer with wildlife and learn indepth about the animals.

We have recently launched three new Wild Encounter experiences:
a black and white tegu encounter, a giraffe encounter, and a red-ruffed lemur encounter. We also offer Wild Encounters with Athena the Florida panther, our giant anteater, Dee Gee, and the honey badgers.

Black and White Tegu Encounter
Have you seen the tegu in the Reptile Rendezvous show? During this encounter, you’ll get the entire canyon to yourself and meet this scaly lizard up close! This is the only encounter at Naples Zoo where touching is allowed. All ages are welcome, but there is a capacity limit of six people to keep the encounter
intimate and engaging.

Giraffe Encounter
Did you know that many residents of Naples Zoo are artists, including our giraffes? At this encounter, you can take home a personalized masterpiece and get an up-close view of these magnificent creatures, while learning how Naples Zoo is helping to protect them in the wild. Guests will choose their paint colors and can watch in awe as the giraffe uses its tongue as a paint brush! All ages are welcome, but there is a capacity limit of four people.

Red-ruffed Lemur Encounter
If primates are your favorite animal, this is the encounter for you! During this encounter, you’ll learn all about this unique and critically endangered primate while you feed them a snack. There is a minimum age of 5 years old to participate, and  there is a capacity limit of six people.

Florida Panther
During this encounter, guests will go behind-the-scenes and meet Athena, a rescued Florida panther. Guests will learn about Athena’s story, her state-of-the-art exhibit, and about her training. Participants must be at least 5 years old, and there is a capacity limit of six people.

Giant Anteater
At the Giant Anteater encounter, guests will learn about this unique animal and how we are working to save anteaters in South America. Then, they’ll be able to feed Dee Gee part of his diet! (Don’t worry, it’s not ants.) Participants must be at least 5 years old. Capacity is six people.

Honey Badger
You may think the honey badger don’t care. At this encounter, come see for yourself! Guests will meet Eshe, Shani, and Jabari, our fierce, yet utterly adorable honey badgers! During this behind-the-scenes encounter, you’ll help take care of the badgers by making fun, food-filled enrichment. Then, guests will go into the exhibit to hide the enrichment. Once the guests are back at the glass, the badgers will be let out to find their treats – and it’s usually very entertaining! All ages are welcome, but there is a capacity of six people.

Every Wild Encounter includes a personalized experience with a conservation educator, a meet and greet with a zookeeper, and an up-close interaction with these amazing animals.

Naples Zoo’s mission is to inspire people of all ages to respect, value and help conserve wildlife and our natural world, and we hope through these experiences, that mission will be accomplished.

To learn more and book your encounter, visit

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