In order to encourage natural behavior, feeding and socialization activities occur throughout the day. This is called “animal enrichment”. View our enrichment schedule on the “Today at the Zoo” page.
The Detroit Zoo is home to more than 2,500 animals of 270 species and has 125 acres of expansive, naturalistic habitats designed to meet the animals’ needs. Whether or not animals are active during a specific time depends on many factors, including the species, the individual animal, and oftentimes, the temperature. We try to create habitats with complex environments that stimulate species-specific behaviors. The animals have many choices for how they spend their time — there are opportunities to patrol the habitat, wallow in the mud, climb a tree, swim in a pool, or nap in the shade. If you do not immediately see an animal, we encourage you to spend a few minutes looking around and talking to the docents who can point out the animals if they are resting somewhere.
The Giraffe Encounter
Public feeding opportunities are available at the Detroit Zoo’s Giraffe Encounter, an elevated viewing platform overlooking the giraffe habitat, bringing guests to eye level with the Zoo’s tallest creatures. From late spring through early fall, 50 patrons per feeding are able to purchase a ticket for $5.00 from the Ambassador Booth at the main entrance of the Zoo, redeemable for a supervised opportunity to serve special giraffe food. Feeding opportunities are available subject to the giraffes’ appetites, the weather and special events. Feeding times may vary and no other food or giraffe-feeding opportunities are permitted.
Tauber Family Railroad
Operates May through September, weekends in October. One-way ride only. Riders must disembark at the other train station and wait in line if they wish to reboard for a round-trip ride. Stations are located at the front of the Zoo near the Main Entrance and in the far northwest corner of the Zoo (Africa), past the rhino habitat. Folding wheelchairs, wagons, and folding strollers can be accommodated. Rented Zoo strollers and wagons cannot be taken on the train.
Occasionally, a building or facility may be closed to the public for part or all of a day due to animal health needs, maintenance repairs, or special events. Sorry, refunds and rain checks are not available. Schedule subject to change without notice.
Available for students, scout troops and other groups, guided, walking tours on the topic of your choice are available September – April. Just ask your reservationist when you call (248) 541-5717, Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., April – October (Wednesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., November-March) to make your group reservation. Tour reservations must be made at least two (2) weeks in advance.
May to August, it’s Animal Answer Days throughout the park. Our volunteer educators, Docents, will be stationed at major animal exhibits to answer questions. Educators: if you need ideas for your visit or classroom or to learn about other programs contact the Docent Office at (248) 541-5717 ext. 3801.