Zookeeper Encounters

Have you ever dreamed of being a zoo keeper? Now is your chance to work alongside a zoo keeper at Potter Park Zoo and learn what it takes to care for the animals every day. If you love animals big or small, scaly or furry, then we have an encounter for you.

Choose the encounter below that interests you the most and register today!


Encounter times are limited; please give a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice for scheduling.

Not all encounters are fully accessible. Please contact Sarah Pechtel at (517) 342-2703 or spechtel@ingham.org if accommodations are necessary.

Once you have registered for your encounter you will be provided a detailed informational packet.

All participants, including adult chaperones, are required to complete a signed liability waiver. Payment and completed waivers are required at time of registration.

Zookeeper Encounters

Herp

Get ready to work with zookeepers in the reptile department as they feed our snakes and

care for a variety of other things that slither, hop, and crawl! You will assist with the

husbandry of these animals and get a chance to see constrictors in action. Though we do not feed live prey items, this is not the encounter for the squeamish.

 

Price: $175

Maximum number of participants: 2

Ages:
Youth: 13-16 (Paid Adult Chaperone Required)
Adults: 17+

Length of program: 1 hour

 

 

Wondering what to expect?

Expect to be on your feet throughout the entire encounter. You will be walking, bending, crouching, cleaning and carrying various items.

When is this encounter offered?

This encounter is available the first and third Wednesday of each month from 1 to 2 p.m.

All participants, including adult chaperones, are required to complete a signed liability waiver. The waiver must be completed at the time of registration. Payment is required at the time of registration as well. 

To register please contact Sarah Pechtel at spechtel@ingham.org or (517) 342-2703.

 

Rhino

Black rhinos are one of Africa’s most endangered species. In this encounter, you get the chance to work up close and personal with our favorite black rhino, Doppsee. You will assist keepers in preparing the morning diet, planning enrichment, cleaning up large amounts of manure, and observing a training session.

 

Price: $175

Maximum number of participants: 2

Ages:
Youth: 13-16 (Paid Adult Chaperone Required)
Adults: 17+

Length of program: 1.5 hours

 

What can I expect?

Expect to be on your feet throughout the whole encounter. You will be walking, bending, crouching, cleaning and carrying various items.

When is this encounter offered?

This encounter is available any day of the week from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

All participants, including adult chaperones, are required to complete a signed liability waiver. The waiver must be completed at the time of registration. Payment is required at the time of registration as well. 

To register please contact Sarah Pechtel at spechtel@ingham.org or (517) 342-2703.

 

Moose

Only a few zoos in the United States exhibit moose, so take the opportunity to meet these tall herbivores. During this encounter, you will prepare the morning diet, clean exhibit yards, collect browse (season dependent), and possibly feed a moose their daily banana. You may also get a chance to observe a training session as the keepers work on husbandry behaviors.

Price: $175

Maximum number of participants: 2

Ages:
Youth: 13-16 (Paid Adult Chaperone Required)
Adults: 17+

Length of program: 1 hour and 15 minutes

 

What can I expect?

Expect to be on your feet throughout the whole encounter. You will be walking, bending, crouching, cleaning and carrying various items.

 When is this encounter offered?

This encounter is available any day of the week from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

All participants, including adult chaperones, are required to complete a signed liability waiver. The waiver must be completed at the time of registration. Payment is required at the time of registration as well. 

To register please contact Sarah Pechtel at spechtel@ingham.org or (517) 342-2703.

 

Big Cat

Lions, tigers, and snow leopards, oh my! Work with our zookeepers as they feed and provide enrichment for our big cats. You will get the chance to shadow as the zookeeper prepares the animal exhibits for the evening. You might even get to see the lions roar from just a few feet away.

 

Price: $175

Maximum number of participants: 1

Ages: Adults: 18+

Length of program: 1 hour

 

 

What can I expect?

Expect to be on your feet throughout the encounter. You will be walking, bending, crouching, cleaning and carrying various items.

When is this encounter offered?

This encounter is available everyday with the exception of Sunday and runs from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

All participants, including adult chaperones, are required to complete a signed liability waiver. The waiver must be completed at the time of registration. Payment is required at the time of registration as well. 

To register please contact Sarah Pechtel at spechtel@ingham.org or (517) 342-2703.

 

Otter & Arctic Fox

North American River otters are one of the most personable and curious animals out there! Come along as the zookeeper prepares their diets, feeds them, and provides enrichment. You may observe a training session as well. And don’t forget about the Arctic fox – you will meet them, too!

Price: $175

Maximum number of participants: 2

Ages:
Youth: 13-16 (Paid Adult Chaperone Required)
Adults: 17+

Length of program: Two 1 hour sessions

 

 

What can I expect?

Expect to be on your feet throughout the whole encounter. You will be walking, bending, crouching, cleaning and carrying various items.

When is this encounter offered?

This encounter is available any day of the week from either 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. or 12:45 to 1:45 p.m.

All participants, including adult chaperones, are required to complete a signed liability waiver. The waiver must be completed at the time of registration. Payment is required at the time of registration as well. 

To register please contact Sarah Pechtel at spechtel@ingham.org or (517) 342-2703.

 

Penguin

Come on in and meet the penguins as you assist the zookeepers with the penguins’ daily care! You will help to prepare the penguins’ morning meal of fish, aide keepers in feeding the penguins and recording consumption, clean the exhibit and holding room, and assist the keeper with any other penguin related tasks.

Price: $175

Maximum number of participants: 2

Ages:
Youth: 13-16 (Paid Adult Chaperone Required)
Adults: 17+

Length of program: 1 hour

 

 

What can I expect?

Expect to be on your feet throughout the whole encounter. You will be walking, bending, crouching, cleaning and carrying various items.

When is this encounter offered?

This encounter is available any day of the week from either 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. or 12:45 to 1:45 p.m.

All participants, including adult chaperones, are required to complete a signed liability waiver. The waiver must be completed at the time of registration. Payment is required at the time of registration as well. 

To register please contact Sarah Pechtel at spechtel@ingham.org or (517) 342-2703.