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Wild for Animals

January - December | Dates/times will vary | Free with Zoo admission

Mark your calendars for these upcoming activities at the Detroit Zoo in conjunction with national and international species recognition days and seasonal celebrations with the animals. Many of these events will include the opportunity to speak with animal care staff and take part in hands-on learning activities.


Friday, December 27

National Visit the Zoo Day

Extend your holiday time with family and friends at this all-Zoo celebration. Enjoy special talks with animal care staff and fun animal-focused learning activities while gaining an appreciation for the cold-weather creatures who live at the Detroit Zoo.

Extend your holiday time with family and friends at this all-Zoo celebration. Enjoy special talks with animal care staff and fun animal-focused learning activities while gaining an appreciation for the cold-weather creatures who live at the Detroit Zoo.


Piping Plover

Sunday, January 5

National Bird Day

Join us in the Matilda R. Wilson Free-Flight Aviary as we focus on our feathered friends through education stations and zookeeper talks. Learn about our work to save endangered birds in Michigan and around the world.

Join us in the Matilda R. Wilson Free-Flight Aviary as we focus on our feathered friends through education stations and zookeeper talks. Learn about our work to save endangered birds in Michigan and around the world.


A arctic fox with it's white winter coat, standing in the snow

Wednesday, January 8

Green Day

The holidays may be over but the fun is just getting started for the animals at the Detroit Zoo.  Many of their habitats will be “spruced up” when they are given recycled holiday evergreen trees to play with, roll around, strip and tear apart. 

The holidays may be over but the fun is just getting started for the animals at the Detroit Zoo.  Many of their habitats will be “spruced up” when they are given recycled holiday evergreen trees to play with, roll around, strip and tear apart. 


A polar bear swimming underwater

Thursday, February 27

International Polar Bear Day

Celebrate this iconic species at the award-winning Arctic Ring of Life and learn fun facts about polar bears Nuka and Suka as well as about conservation concerns facing their wild counterparts.

Celebrate this iconic species at the award-winning Arctic Ring of Life and learn fun facts about polar bears Nuka and Suka as well as about conservation concerns facing their wild counterparts.


A cute little frog

Friday, March 20

World Frog Day

Hop on over to the National Amphibian Conservation Center for hands-on learning activities and zookeeper talks and hear about the Detroit Zoological Society’s efforts to preserve and restore amphibian populations in the wild.

Hop on over to the National Amphibian Conservation Center for hands-on learning activities and zookeeper talks and hear about the Detroit Zoological Society’s efforts to preserve and restore amphibian populations in the wild.


Birdwatching book and binoculars

Monday, April 13

Citizen Science Day

Join us for this special event at the Detroit Zoo and take part in hands-on citizen science opportunities, from listening to frog calls and sharing bird sightings to learning how we can work together to keep our waterways clean.

Join us for this special event at the Detroit Zoo and take part in hands-on citizen science opportunities, from listening to frog calls and sharing bird sightings to learning how we can work together to keep our waterways clean.


Friday, April 17

Bat Appreciation Day

Swoop on over to celebrate the flying mammals who live at the Detroit Zoo. Zookeeper talks will highlight the importance of bats to the environment and the threats they face in the wild.

Swoop on over to celebrate the flying mammals who live at the Detroit Zoo. Zookeeper talks will highlight the importance of bats to the environment and the threats they face in the wild.


A bird standing on a pole

Sunday, April 26

World Migratory Bird Day

Spread your wings and learn all about migratory birds – you might even spot some through binoculars provided by staff. Zookeeper talks will highlight the Detroit Zoological Society’s conservation work to save migratory birds.

Spread your wings and learn all about migratory birds – you might even spot some through binoculars provided by staff. Zookeeper talks will highlight the Detroit Zoological Society’s conservation work to save migratory birds.


A salamander on some pebbles

Saturday, May 2

Salamander Saturday

It’s all about salamanders at the National Amphibian Conservation Center. Celebrate these remarkable creatures through zookeeper talks, crafts and hands-on learning activities.

It’s all about salamanders at the National Amphibian Conservation Center. Celebrate these remarkable creatures through zookeeper talks, crafts and hands-on learning activities.


A snail on a log

Friday, May 15

Endangered Species Day

Interact with conservation scientists and learn about the Detroit Zoological Society’s contributions to wildlife preservation work on every continent while discovering how you can help too.

Interact with conservation scientists and learn about the Detroit Zoological Society’s contributions to wildlife preservation work on every continent while discovering how you can help too.


Turtle

Saturday, May 23

World Turtle Day

Celebrate turtles and tortoises with fun activities and zookeeper talks in the Holden Reptile Conservation Center. You’ll also learn how the Detroit Zoological Society is working to help these animals survive and thrive.

Celebrate turtles and tortoises with fun activities and zookeeper talks in the Holden Reptile Conservation Center. You’ll also learn how the Detroit Zoological Society is working to help these animals survive and thrive.


Otter

Wednesday, May 27

World Otter Day

You otter be at the Detroit Zoo for this celebration at the Edward Mardigian Sr. River Otter Habitat. Learn about the crucial role otters play in the environment, the threats they’re facing in the wild, and what the Detroit Zoological Society is doing to help.

You otter be at the Detroit Zoo for this celebration at the Edward Mardigian Sr. River Otter Habitat. Learn about the crucial role otters play in the environment, the threats they’re facing in the wild, and what the Detroit Zoological Society is doing to help.


A picture of a little girl with a butterfly resting on her hand!

Monday, June 1

Butterfly Education and Awareness Day

Spread your wings and celebrate our fluttering friends. This event will focus on butterflies as important pollinators and bring awareness to conservation concerns for monarchs.

Spread your wings and celebrate our fluttering friends. This event will focus on butterflies as important pollinators and bring awareness to conservation concerns for monarchs.


Polar bear

Monday, June 8

World Oceans Day

“Seas” the day by learning about the world’s oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. Special activities and zookeeper talks will highlight the animals who live in these waters and the dangers they face due to pollution.

“Seas” the day by learning about the world’s oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. Special activities and zookeeper talks will highlight the animals who live in these waters and the dangers they face due to pollution.


A giraffe

Sunday, June 21

World Giraffe Day

Join us for hands-on learning activities and zookeeper talks as we celebrate this important species and reticulated giraffes Jabari, Kivuli and Mpenzi.

Join us for hands-on learning activities and zookeeper talks as we celebrate this important species and reticulated giraffes Jabari, Kivuli and Mpenzi.


Chimpanzee

Tuesday, July 14

World Chimpanzee Day

Celebrate with us at the Great Apes of Harambee with fun learning activities and zookeeper talks that will highlight the troop of chimpanzees who live at the Detroit Zoo – including birthday girl Jane, named in honor of legendary primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Celebrate with us at the Great Apes of Harambee with fun learning activities and zookeeper talks that will highlight the troop of chimpanzees who live at the Detroit Zoo – including birthday girl Jane, named in honor of legendary primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall.


Wednesday, July 29

International Tiger Day

Celebrate these iconic and charismatic creatures as you enjoy hands-on activities at the Devereaux Tiger Forest – home to Amur tigers Nikolai, Aleksei and Kisa – and learn about the threats facing wild tigers.

Celebrate these iconic and charismatic creatures as you enjoy hands-on activities at the Devereaux Tiger Forest – home to Amur tigers Nikolai, Aleksei and Kisa – and learn about the threats facing wild tigers.


A lion, licking his chops

Monday, August 10

World Lion Day

Bring your cubs to celebrate the king of beasts. Enjoy fun learning activities and zookeeper talks about rescued lions Simba and Erin and sisters Asha and Amirah as well as fun facts about their wild counterparts.

Bring your cubs to celebrate the king of beasts. Enjoy fun learning activities and zookeeper talks about rescued lions Simba and Erin and sisters Asha and Amirah as well as fun facts about their wild counterparts.


Wednesday, August 12

World Elephant Day

In 2005, the Detroit Zoo became the first zoo in the country to decide solely on ethical grounds to no longer keep elephants. In the years since, more zoos have made the same decision. On World Elephant Day, we’ll remember Asian elephants Wanda and Winky and continue the conversation about how elephants are faring in the wild.

In 2005, the Detroit Zoo became the first zoo in the country to decide solely on ethical grounds to no longer keep elephants. In the years since, more zoos have made the same decision. On World Elephant Day, we’ll remember Asian elephants Wanda and Winky and continue the conversation about how elephants are faring in the wild.


Vulture

Saturday, September 5

International Vulture Awareness Day

Celebrate the world’s 23 species of vultures, including five that live at the Detroit Zoo. Learn about the threats facing these birds in the wild and the work the Detroit Zoological Society is doing to preserve their wild populations.

Celebrate the world’s 23 species of vultures, including five that live at the Detroit Zoo. Learn about the threats facing these birds in the wild and the work the Detroit Zoological Society is doing to preserve their wild populations.


A red panda

Saturday, September 19

International Red Panda Day

Head to the Holtzman Wildlife Foundation Red Panda Forest to celebrate these charismatic creatures. Cross over the canopy walkway to see Ravi, Ash and Ta-Shi, and learn about their wild counterparts and our work to protect them.

Head to the Holtzman Wildlife Foundation Red Panda Forest to celebrate these charismatic creatures. Cross over the canopy walkway to see Ravi, Ash and Ta-Shi, and learn about their wild counterparts and our work to protect them.


A rhino

Tuesday, September 22

World Rhino Day

We’re honoring these majestic – and threatened – animals at the southern white rhinoceros habitat, home to Tamba and Jasiri. Discover fun facts about this species and learn how the illegal trade of wildlife products is hurting their wild populations.

We’re honoring these majestic – and threatened – animals at the southern white rhinoceros habitat, home to Tamba and Jasiri. Discover fun facts about this species and learn how the illegal trade of wildlife products is hurting their wild populations.


A gorilla looking at the camera

Thursday, September 24

World Gorilla Day

Join us at the Great Apes of Harambee as we celebrate silverback gorillas Pende, Kongo and Chip and their wild counterparts. You’ll develop a better understanding of our close relations and discover what we are doing to save them.

Join us at the Great Apes of Harambee as we celebrate silverback gorillas Pende, Kongo and Chip and their wild counterparts. You’ll develop a better understanding of our close relations and discover what we are doing to save them.


A chimpanzee sitting on a pumkin

Wednesday, October 14, and Saturday, October 24

Smashing Pumpkins

This simultaneous celebration of enrichment and the fall harvest is a perennial favorite for Detroit Zoo residents and visitors alike. Watch the animals play with, roll around in, tear apart and smash their harvest gifts.

This simultaneous celebration of enrichment and the fall harvest is a perennial favorite for Detroit Zoo residents and visitors alike. Watch the animals play with, roll around in, tear apart and smash their harvest gifts.


A wolf looking at the camera

Sunday, October 18

National Wolf Awareness Week

Visit the Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness for zookeeper talks and hands-on activities. You’ll learn about gray wolves Renner and Kaska, the vital role wolves play in the ecosystem and how we can help protect and conserve this species and their wild habitats across North America.

Visit the Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness for zookeeper talks and hands-on activities. You’ll learn about gray wolves Renner and Kaska, the vital role wolves play in the ecosystem and how we can help protect and conserve this species and their wild habitats across North America.


Tuesday, October 20

International Sloth Day

Come hang out at The Hangout (near the snow monkeys) and meet Molasses, known as Mo, a Linne’s two-toed sloth who found sanctuary at the Detroit Zoo in 2018. Learn fun facts about his wild counterparts through zookeeper talks and fun learning activities.

Come hang out at The Hangout (near the snow monkeys) and meet Molasses, known as Mo, a Linne’s two-toed sloth who found sanctuary at the Detroit Zoo in 2018. Learn fun facts about his wild counterparts through zookeeper talks and fun learning activities.


An emerald monitor (lizard) on a rock

Wednesday, October 21

Reptile Awareness Day

Head to the Holden Reptile Conservation Center to celebrate these slithering species. You’ll learn all about the wonders of the scaly world and discover what the Detroit Zoological Society is doing to preserve animals like the massasauga rattlesnake and western pond turtle.

Head to the Holden Reptile Conservation Center to celebrate these slithering species. You’ll learn all about the wonders of the scaly world and discover what the Detroit Zoological Society is doing to preserve animals like the massasauga rattlesnake and western pond turtle.


A bison

Saturday, November 7

National Bison Day

Did you know that the bison is the largest mammal in North America – and they can run at speeds up to 35 miles an hour? You’ll learn many more fascinating facts about the official national mammal during this special celebration.

Did you know that the bison is the largest mammal in North America – and they can run at speeds up to 35 miles an hour? You’ll learn many more fascinating facts about the official national mammal during this special celebration.


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Sunday, November 15

America Recycles Day

Bring any electronics you’d like to discard – even larger ones, like old TVs, DVD players, computers and printers. You can drop them off from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the large 10 Mile Road parking lot near the gazebo, and we will see that they get recycled responsibly.

Bring any electronics you’d like to discard – even larger ones, like old TVs, DVD players, computers and printers. You can drop them off from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the large 10 Mile Road parking lot near the gazebo, and we will see that they get recycled responsibly.


A man watching penguins swim and waddle

Sunday, December 27

National Visit the Zoo Day

Extend your holiday time with family and friends at this all-Zoo celebration. Enjoy special talks with animal care staff and fun animal-focused learning activities while gaining an appreciation for the cold-weather creatures who live at the Detroit Zoo.

Extend your holiday time with family and friends at this all-Zoo celebration. Enjoy special talks with animal care staff and fun animal-focused learning activities while gaining an appreciation for the cold-weather creatures who live at the Detroit Zoo.

 

* Dates may be subject to change.