Summer at L.A. Zoo – New Schedule of Daily Opportunities to Learn More about Animals

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What’s an otter’s idea of summer fun? How do elephants beat the heat? Do animals need sunblock? Discover all that and more during a visit this summer to the Los Angeles Zoo, which offers a new schedule of daily opportunities to learn more about animals. Featured now through Labor Day are close-up “Animals & You” encounters as well as special feedings, intriguing talks and guided experiences about otters, gorillas, chimps, seals, alligators, tomistomas, flamingos, birds and the Zoo’s Australia area residents. Also offered are an Elephants of Asia Training Demonstration, World of Birds Show, Muriel’s Ranch Demonstration, Campfire Stories in the California Condor Rescue Zone (CCRZ), Giraffe Feedings and a Hippo Encounter. All except Giraffe Feedings and the Hippo Encounter are free with paid Zoo admission.

“Our hope is that people really connect with our animals and look more closely at everything that makes this zoo such a special place,” says Jess Kohring, who oversees much of the Zoo’s education programming. “These programs are designed to enhance the overall visitor experience, and with such a variety, there is almost always something exceptional to see.”

For a wild time, come eye-to-eye with some of the Zoo’s smaller residents at ANIMALS & YOU in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo and learn all about them from specially trained members of the Zoo’s intrepid volunteer corps. These close-up creature encounters are offered daily at 10:45 and 11:45 am and on weekends at 10:45 am11:45 am and 12:45 pm, subject to weather-related changes, especially on hot days.

Among the special feedings, intriguing talks and guided experiences are a chance to learn about some of the zoo’s most playful residents at the OTTER TALK, daily at 3 pm, as the giant river otters swim, slip, and slide around their exhibit. Come on a Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday at 10:30 am for GOOD MORNING GORILLAS at the Campo Gorilla Reserve, where a Zoo Education Specialist helps guests get to know the gorillas, learn about their behavior and find out how gorillas, just like humans, go through a morning routine. With one of the largest chimpanzee troops in the nation, the Zoo’s CHIMP CHAT12:30 pm daily at Chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains, features a Zoo staff expert to chat about these great apes as they go through their midday routine. A special SEAL TALK at Sea Life Cliffs on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 am, provides a chance to say hello to the Zoo’s seals and learn firsthand about the care they receive from their devoted keepers. Meet Reggie the Alligator and his new companion Tina on Saturdays at 11:30 am during an ALLIGATOR TALK, or join keepers who share insight on tomistomas at the TOMISTOMA TALK, Sundays at 11:30 am, near the LAIR. GOOD MORNING FLAMINGOS, at 10:30 am every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, offers an opportunity to observe as one of the largest flamingo flocks in any of the world’s zoos greets the day while a Zoo staff expert shares fascinating facts about these boisterous birds. Experience the Zoo’s Aviary sights and sounds on a BIRD WALK, daily at 2 pm, that explores the immersive exhibit with an Education Specialist. And embark on an Aussie adventure, daily at 1:30 pm, with the AUSTRALIA WALKABOUT, which features a rotating slate of daily programs including animal feedings, tours and keeper talks.

An exceptional ELEPHANT TRAINING DEMONSTRATION at Elephants of Asia’s Wasserman Family Thai Pavilion, offered daily (except Tuesdays and Thursdays) at 11 am, features a training session with the Zoo’s beloved Asian elephants and a chance to learn how keepers use positive reinforcement to build bonds with them to keep them healthy and safe. The free-flight WORLD OF BIRDS SHOW at the Angela Collier World of Birds Theater, which has been delighting audiences for nearly 40 years, spotlights the natural behaviors and amazing abilities of its stars and takes place daily except Tuesdays at 12 and 2:30 pm. Meet the animals that live on Muriel’s Ranch daily at 11:30 am at a RANCH DEMO and experience firsthand what it takes to be a ranch hand. Gather ‘round for CAMPFIRE STORIES IN THE CCRZ, an interactive story time featuring condors and their animal friends daily at 1 pm.

Come face-to-face with a giraffe at the Zoo’s interactive Giraffe Feedings, which take place daily at 11 am and 2 pm. Guests learn about the world’s tallest land mammal from Zoo Education Specialists, who share facts about a Masai giraffe’s daily life at the Zoo, which includes eating 70 to 80 pounds of up to 100 different species of plants a day and feed for 16 to 20 hours. Giraffe Feedings are $5 per person with paid Zoo admission. Guests can purchase tickets (cash only) for the Giraffe Feedings at the exhibit just prior to start times for the activity, which is subject to weather-related changes, especially on rainy days.

To find out what it’s like to be up-close to a hippo, check out the Zoo’s HIPPO ENCOUNTER, an extraordinary, hands-on opportunity every weekend and holiday, 12 noon, at the L.A. Zoo.  Small groups of up to 15 people, including children ages four and up accompanied by an adult, go behind the scenes for approximately 20 minutes to stand VERY close to the Zoo’s near-legendary Rosie and her mom, Mara, while learning all about them. Keepers introduce guests to both hippos, the third-largest land mammal, and share specifics about their daily routines, care, training and lives. Participants watch up close as staff feeds lunch to the hippos, followed by a chance to reach out and feel their cool, smooth skin, then concluding with an unforgettable photo op likely to generate multiple #adorbs type hashtags. Due to its great popularity, advance purchase of Hippo Encounter tickets ($20 per person in addition to regular Zoo admission) via the Zoo’s website is strongly recommended.

A complete schedule can be viewed at http://www.lazoo.org/daily/. Programming subject to change.

The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways.  5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA  90027.  Free parking is available.  For additional information, contact (323) 644-4200 or visit www.lazoo.org/.

Credit: The Los Angeles Zoo. Photo Credit: Jamie Pham.

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