9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Zookeeper talks are held daily at various animal habitats, giving guests the opportunity to interact with animal care staff while learning about the individuals living at the Zoo and observing them receiving treats. You can view the weekly schedule on Today at the Zoo. Additionally, food and other items are regularly hidden throughout the animals’ habitats to stimulate natural behaviors such as foraging or stalking, as part of our comprehensive program of ensuring environments for animals that are ever changing and appropriately complex. We hold several events throughout the year that coincide with a season or holiday, allowing for visitors to view this practice on a schedule, e.g., Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day and Heart Fest.
The Detroit Zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals of 240 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 work 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 their habitats, 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.
Opportunities are available for guests to feed the giraffes from an elevated viewing platform that overlooks the habitat and brings 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 from the Ambassador Booth at the main entrance of the Zoo, redeemable for a supervised opportunity to feed the giraffes. Feeding opportunities are available subject to the giraffes’ appetites, the weather and special events. Feeding times may vary. There are also private dining experiences with the giraffes that guests can register for at least two weeks in advance.
The Tauber Family Railroad is operational May through September and on weekends in October. Tickets may be purchased for a one-way ride only. (Riders must disembark at the opposite 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. Refunds and rain checks are not available. Schedule subject to change without notice.