The Little Rock Zoo is once again offering Behind the Scenes tours for the first time since the pandemic, including up close and personal experiences with elephants and penguins. 


The first tour to reopen has been the elephant experience, which has quickly proved so popular that, as of the time of writing, booking has been temporarily closed to process a backlog of reservations. Held on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m., the elephant experience includes three levels of close encounters in 6-person groups, allowing you to step into the world of an elephant keeper:

  1. Create elephant enrichment, $65/person: Assist zookeepers with creating enrichment and placing it in the yard for the elephants to enjoy.
  2. Paint with an elephant, $75/person: Choose paint colors and hold the canvas while an elephant paints an artwork that you get to keep.
  3. Bathe an elephant, $100/person: Help zookeepers scrub an elephant and learn why bathing them is important.


Penguin experiences are also available for booking and are held on Saturdays at 2 p.m. Once again, there are three different types of encounters available:

  1. Penguin tour, $50/person: Join keepers on a guided tour of the penguin habitat and learn about the zoo’s African penguins.
  2. Deliver penguin enrichment, $65/person: Assist zookeepers with the animals’ enrichment and put it in the habitat for the penguins to enjoy.
  3. Paint with a penguin, $75/person: Choose paint colors and watch a penguin waddle over the canvas, creating an artwork you can keep.


These experiences are limited to participants ages 6 and up. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult and closed-toed shoes are required. To learn more or book an experience, visit the Little Rock Zoo website.


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