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 go towards each animal conservation at Hemker Park & Zoo.

* Additional fees apply.

kids feeding giraffe - Hemker Park and ZooGiraffe Feeding Encounters

When: May to October

Cost: $3.00/person

Time: 11:00 am, 2:00 pm and 4:00 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, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm daily. Cost: $3.00/person to feed the giraffe. Learn more about these amazing creatures while feeding them!


OtterJoin Our Otters for a Snack!

When: May – September

Cost: $4.00

Time: 12:00 pm & 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.


kid feeding birds - Hemker Park and ZooBuddy 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 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.


Boa ConstrictorCuddle 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 you’re holding her, gently stroke her scales and you will see that she is not at all slimy.


Hemker Park and ZooGet 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: $20.00


Hemker Park and ZooPet Ruby The Penguin

Have you ever touched a penguin?

When: May 1-Oct 31; 10am-6pm
Cost: $100.00 (Maximum of 5 participates in group)

We have a private area for you and/or your group to go and talk with the zookeepers that care for the penguins here at Hemker Park & Zoo. During this time, you will be able to touch one of our penguins while our zookeeper holds the penguin.  Guest are not able to hold the penguins. During this time our zookeepers will discuss where the penguins are from, their adaptions they have, how we care for them, what types of enrichment we do with them, and more fun and interesting facts. This usually lasts about 15/20 minutes. Bring your camera for a photo. At first enjoy the experience and at the end you are welcome to take photos, no video recording is allowed. All proceeds go towards penguin preservation at Hemker Park & Zoo. You can schedule your penguin encounter when you pay your admission.

Don’t walk past this unique experience. Where else can you touch a penguin?