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10 up-close animal encounters at the Greenville Zoo

Get wild with these behind-the-scenes animal experiences.


Follow @greenvillezoo for updates on future sloth encounters. | Photo by the Greenville Zoo

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Danielle here. If you’re like me, chances are you’ve dreamed of spending time with a sloth ever since Kristin Bell’s sloth meltdown circa 2012.

The Greenville Zoo is helping our dreams come true. Lyla and Lincoln, its Linnaeus’s two-toed sloths, are getting ready to meet you at the zoo’s future animal encounter.

As the zoo works out the details (read: pricing, times, and how to make the experience accessible and safe), we’re sharing 10 other behind-the-scenes experiences and animal encounters that recently reopened at the Greenville Zoo.

The pricing

$125+ per person | Take a behind-the-scenes, which included three encounters.

$43.75+ per person | Select one encounter.

You can request tours here at least two weeks in advance.


Anton the anteater eats 35,000+ ants and termites each day. | Photo by the Greenville Zoo

The encounters

Anteater Enrichment | Learn about and provide enrichment (read: creative time with physical activity and mental exercise) to the zoo’s giant anteater.

Lion Training | Experience a training session to learn how the zoo provides its lions with daily care and check-ups.

Tortoise Touch | Enjoy a hands-on opportunity to get up close with the largest reptile at the Greenville Zoo.

Ektopia | Meet with the zoo’s herpetologist to learn about all things scaly and slimy.

Amur Leopard Training | The Asia zookeeper leads a training session about the leopards’ daily care and check-ups.

Orangutan Training | Hang with the orangutans to learn how they receive daily care and check-ups.


You’ll find Asha the red panda most active on cool mornings. | Photo by the Greenville Zoo

Red Panda Enrichment | Learn about this fluffy, rare, and endangered animal.

Primate Row | It’s all monkey business as you learn about some of the zoo’s “most delightful residents.”

Animal Hospital | Go behind the scenes at the zoo’s hospital and learn about the challenges and rewards of working with wild clients.

Giraffe Feeding (on hold) | As Autumn and her newborn calf bond, this experience is on hold. Check back on the zoo’s site for reopening updates — plus, get excited for the future giraffe feeding platform.