Close Encounters

Will you brave a close encounter?

There are many ways to encounter the animals here at Hemker Park & Zoo. Our visitors love the Close Encounters* with the wild exhibits at Hemker Park & Zoo, and we're confident you will too. All proceeds goes towards each animals conservation at Hemker Park & Zoo.

* Additional fees apply.

Giraffe Feeding Encounters

When: Late May to October 

Cost: $3.00/person

Time: 11:00 am and 2:00 pm

See what it's like to stand face-to-face with a giraffe at Hemker Park & Zoo's Giraffe Feeding Station! The feedings take place at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm daily. Cost: $3.00/person to feed the giraffe. Learn more about these amazing creatures while feeding them! 

Join Our Otters for a Snack!

When: Mid May - September 

Cost: $4.00

Time: 3:00 pm daily

Space is limited to 15 Spots. Available daily to first come. 

Watch these mischievous mammals swim in their pool! They think raw fish are delicious and can't wait to swim on over for a mouthwatering morsel. Toss the fish into their pool while learning fun facts about otters with one of their keepers!

*Note: All encounters will be conducted in a protected contact situation. In most cases touching the animal will not be available.




Cuddle With Cookie The Boa Constrictor

Are you brave enough to have your photo taken cuddling Cookie, the 8-foot-long boa constrictor?

When: May 1-Oct 31; 10am-6pm
Cost: $20.00 plus tax 

Cookie is our beloved ten foot Boa Constrictor. There is no need to be scared though, she likes to be held. With the help of a zookeeper, we'll snap a photo souvenir of you and Cookie together! When your holding her, gently stroke her scales and you will see that she is not at all slimy.

Pet Ruby The Penguin

Have you ever pet a penguin?

When: May 1-Oct 31; 10am-6pm
Cost: Please call or email us for more information

A group of penguins is called a rookery. Get up close and personal with Ruby, the leader of her rookery, and feel first hand how very soft feathers are.

Don't walk past this unique experience. Where else can you pet a penguin?

Buddy Up To The Budgies

Have you experienced the beaming smiles and squeals of delight of bird feeding in the Budgie Buddy House?

When: Late May to early September
Cost: $2+tax per feeding stick

The famous Hemker Budgie Buddy House is one of the most popular exhibits at Hemker Park & Zoo.

Our Budgies are fun to get close to. With a seed stick, you will get closer than ever. Walk into our Budgie Buddies House with one of our seed sticks in your hand and watch them swarm.

Get up close With an American Alligator

Have you been eye to eye with an Alligator?

Learn fun and interesting facts about these amazing reptiles! Meet Gator a 2 foot American Alligator!
When: May 1-Oct 31; 10am-6pm
Cost: $18.00

Experience Life As A Zookeeper

How would you like to learn what it takes to care for the animals at Hemker Park & Zoo and get an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience at the same time?

When: 8am-11am; May 1-Oct 31
Cost: $300+tax per person

You can with the Hemker Zookeeper Experience. Spend a fun and fascinating few hours learning first-hand what life as a zookeeper is like by helping to feed and tend to the wild exhibits and take part in the animal enrichment and educational programs.

Bookings are essential. Phone 320.836.2426 or email, for more information.