Birmingham Zoo
  • Today's Regular Hours: 9am to 4pm

Visitor Info

Behind-the-Scenes Encounters

NEW at the Birmingham Zoo!

Behind-the-Scenes Encounters

Get wildly connected with the Birmingham Zoo! With new Behind-the-Scenes Encounters, you can get close to a Sea Lion and meet a Red Panda, all while learning from the Zoo’s expert Animal Care Professionals. Encounters include a tour of behind-the-scenes animal areas, time to ask the experts any questions you have, and more. These experiences can only be had at the Birmingham Zoo and will build memories that last a lifetime!


Sea Lion Encounter
Saturdays, 11:00 am

If you were unable to meet one of one of our sea lions last spring, now is your chance! This is your opportunity to get an up-close, behind-the-scenes training session with one of our California Sea Lions, Gio and Farley. Meet the people that care for them every day and learn how we all can be better neighbors to our ocean’s wildlife.

  • Members – $50 per person
  • Non Members – $65 per person



**** SOLD OUT AS OF 11/2 ***

NEW: Red Panda Encounter
Sundays, 10:15am

In this new encounter, you will have a chance to meet our Red Pandas, Parker and Sorrel. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Predator Building and learn how the Birmingham Zoo is working to care for animals here and in the wild.


Registration Information:

  • All encounters are intimate experiences for groups of 6 or fewer.
  • Zoo admission is not included in your Behind-the-Scenes Animal Encounter registration.
  • Children ages 5 and up are welcome for all Encounters, 12 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult.
  • Tickets may be purchased on-site up to an hour prior to the Experience (10am Fridays, 12:30pm Saturday and Sunday).
  • Any program involving our resident animals is subject to change or cancellation based on the animal’s needs. However, every effort will be made to offer alternate areas or reschedule experiences.
  • All Behind-the-Scenes Encounters require entering working areas of the Zoo that may not be wheelchair-accessible. Please let us know of any sensory or accessibility needs that need to be accommodated by calling the Education Department at 205-397-3877 or email

Click here to register for a Behind-the-Scenes Encounter at the Birmingham Zoo!