What kinds of animals will you bring?

We have about 80 animals in our collection, consisting of about 40 different species. Some of these species include snakes like the ball python or hognose, lizards like the Solomon Island skink or chuckwalla, birds like a parrot or hawk, mammals like a skunk, armadillo, or hedgehog, amphibians like frogs and toads, and invertebrates like a millipede, tarantula, or cockroach. Animals are chosen based on program theme, location distance from the Zoo, and animal health.

How many animals will you bring?

For our 45-minute presentations, we bring four diverse animals and a variety of biofacts like skulls, pelts, shells, or feathers. For our 1-2 hour booth programs, we bring 6-7 live animals that rotate throughout the program, along with a variety of biofacts.

How many locations do you visit in a day?

Usually each Naturalist only visits one location per day. It may be possible to go to a second location, but the program must be within 10 miles of the initial location.

How many programs can we do in one day?

Our maximum number of programs for one Naturalist/set of animals is three. If you require more than three programs in one day, we may be able to send out two naturalists with separate groups of animals based on staff availability.

Can I schedule a morning and afternoon program in the same day?

To minimize the travel time for our animals, we have minimum and maximum periods between programs. Naturalists need a minimum of 15 minutes between program start times. The maximum time between the end of one program and the beginning of the next program is 90 minutes.

What time of day can I request a program?

We offer programming seven days a week, based on staff availability. How early or late we can offer programming depends on your location. We cannot start a program before 8:00am, and the program must end by 9:00pm.

If you are located more than 50 miles away from the Zoo, your program cannot start before 9:00am, and must end by 8:00pm.

Please note that if you are located more than 200 miles from the Zoo, your programming request will automatically include a $90 per diem overnight charge since the request will require an overnight stay for the Naturalist.

When will you arrive?

Naturalists will arrive between 15 and 30 minutes prior to the scheduled program start time. In case of emergency, which results in you Naturalist not arriving on time, you will be notified via phone call.

How does weather affect our ability to travel?

Minnesota can experience extreme, and often unpredictable, weather. In case of severe weather, we will happy reschedule your program for a later date. For the safety and welfare of our animals, we do not leave the Zoo site if the temperatures are below 0 or above 90 (95 with heat index) degrees Fahrenheit. Some of our animals do have temperature restrictions that prevent them from going on programs where the temperatures are either extremely hot or cold. For outdoor program requests, the temperature must be between 60-90 degrees. We may also reschedule programs if there is a weather or traffic emergency due to severe weather, poor visibility, or road conditions.