Meet an Animal

Lincoln Park Zoo visitors can learn fun facts about animals with daily hands-on encounters with wildlife.

Daily Activity Offers Hands-On Wildlife Encounters

It’s interesting enough that the blue-tongued skink’s scales are smooth and dry to the touch, but the real gasps from the audience come when the reptile sticks out its bright blue tongue. Every day at 11 a.m. sharp, guests at Lincoln Park Zoo have the chance to get up close and personal with an animal at Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House. The Meet an Animal daily activity allows visitors to learn about some of the zoo’s most exciting animals using a gentle hands-on approach.

Guests can expect to meet a variety of animal species, including a La Plata three-banded armadillo, box turtle, ball python, corn snake, Kenyan sand boa and blue tongued skink (although only one animal is introduced per day). Zoo educators discuss different animal adaptations, coloration, senses, how they move and what they eat.

Visitors have the opportunity to touch and feel the animal ambassador. Guests who’ve never touched a live snake before are often surprised that the reptiles’ scales are actually dry instead of slimy. Manager of Guest Engagement Allison Price says, “We see our guests come away with their misperceptions altered. Sometimes guests touch a snake for the first time, learn how snakes help the environment and are a little less fearful the next time they see one. ”

The Meet an Animal activity gives visitors the opportunity to engage animal species they would probably never encounter otherwise. It’s not every day people get to touch a blue-tongued skink or La Plata three-banded armadillo, but at Lincoln Park Zoo it can be.


by Cassie Stein • Published April 27, 2012

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Spring 2012 Lincoln Park Zoo magazine cover

Learn in a Living Classroom
Learn more about education at Lincoln Park Zoo—and around the world—with the Spring 2012 issue of Lincoln Park Zoo's award-winning magazine!