Wild EncounTOURS

Share an experience like no other with family and friends when you go behind the scenes at the Dakota Zoo. Get to know the animals up close and personal and see what goes into the care and conservation of these species.


Know Before You Book

  • Tours are not guaranteed to be private unless your group fills the maximum capacity.

  • All tours are walking tours. No transportation is provided.

  • Some tours take place in temperature-controlled environments while others are entirely outside. Please dress accordingly.

  • Closed-toe shoes are required for all tours.

  • Due to the unpredictability of animals, tour experiences may vary.

  • All guests should be aware of zoo policies and must abide by staff instructions at all times.

  • Each tour has a specific age requirement listed in the tour description.

  • For safety reasons, children under 18 must be accompanied and monitored at all times by a paid adult.

  • While all of our public spaces are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be. If there are any physical, cognitive, or behavioral needs within your group, please call our Education Coordinator or Guest Service Manager at 701-223-7543 so our staff can be prepared to make any reasonable accommodations.

  • In compliance with best practices for zoo animal welfare, service animals are not permitted in our behind-the-scenes areas.

  • Tours are non-refundable. If it becomes necessary to reschedule your tour, please contact the Education Coordinator or Guest Service Manager at 701-223-7543 or educate@dakotazoo.org. Tours must be rescheduled within 30 days of cancellation. No refunds or rescheduling opportunities will be given for no-call/no-shows.

  • The Dakota Zoo reserves the right to cancel any tour due to unforeseeable animal health, weather, or staffing issues. In case of such an event, the Zoo will contact you to reschedule your tour.



North American River Otter

Build your own adventure! Otters are known to be playful and curious. Learn about their aquatic adaptations and habitat while getting a unique glimpse into the life of a river otter.

  • Number of Guests: Minimum of two; Maximum of 6
  • Duration: Approximately 40 minutes
  • Age Requirements: Ages 6 and up
  • Cost: $80 per member; $90 per non-member


African Penguin

Coming Soon! Currently unavailble, check back for more details.


North American Wildlife: Elk, Wolves, and Bears

Coming Soon! Currently unavailble, check back for more details.


Book your Wild EncounTOUR today by calling 701-223-7543 or emailing educate@dakotazoo.org.

All tours subject to availability. Tours must be paid at the time of booking to secure a spot.

Sign up is required a minimum of one week in advance.

Winter Tour Hours:  Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30pm

Summer Tour Hours:  Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays at 1:30pm