Animal Encounters

A great chance to get up close to some of our amazing creatures!

During these fun and informative sessions you will be introduced to a variety of animals, and if you want to, you’ll have the opportunity to touch or hold some of these scaly, slimy and furry friends! Sessions are led by either an education officer or keeper, who will teach you plenty of fun facts.

Some animals you might meet during your session include royal pythons, corn snakes, leopard geckos, tenrecs, and plenty of creepy crawlies!

Times and Prices

There are currently three daily animal encounters, the times of which vary according to season.

During summer (April to September) animal encounters are at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm.

During winter (October to March) animal encounters are at 12pm, 2pm and 3pm.

Animal encounters cost £3 per person.

FSZ handling session web

Important Information

We can host a maximum of 20 people at each session. Please note, only people who have purchased tickets are allowed to attend the session. Parents who wish to accompany young children will also have to purchase tickets for themselves from the ticket desk.

Please arrive at the Discovery and Learning Centre at least 5 minutes before your session is scheduled to start.

Tickets cannot be purchased in advance. You must purchase them from the ticket desk on the day of your visit.

Animal encounters are not suitable for children under 3 years old.

Group Visits

The group rate includes a 20-30 minute animal encounter, during which you will meet some of our amazing animals!

When you book your group visit we will schedule you as many sessions as you need for everyone to have a go! You will be told when and where you session(s) will be in the welcome pack you receive on arrival. If you need more than one session please be prepared to split up into smaller groups on the day. Please make sure to arrive at your session at least 5 minutes before your scheduled start time. Late arrival may result in reduced session length or cancellation.

Please note that on very busy days during peak season we can become fully booked for animal encounters. If you do choose to visit on a fully booked day you are still eligible for the group rate, but will not receive the session. There is no discount for not receiving the session. Please make sure to book well in advance to avoid disappointment.