When many think of Hersheypark Amusement Park, they think of roller coasters, carnival games, family fun and of course, chocolate! However, one of the many aspects that makes Hersheypark unique from your every day amusement park, is that it’s attached to ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park! Several weeks ago, my son and I had the amazing privilege to visit ZooAmerica before they opened to the public that day, as part of their Behind the Scenes Tour experience.
For the past 40 years, ZooAmerica has been a home for more than 200 animals native to the continent of North America, on 11 acres of land by Hersheypark. While they offer many fun and exciting programs, only popular experience for guests is their Behind The Scenes tours. You can opt for Early Bird, After Hours, or a Photography centered tour, as a guide takes you through not only the non-public spaces, but allows you to get up-close with with their animals!
Our Early Bird tour started at 8 AM that morning. While I sipped my coffee while walking over to the Zoo, my son was beyond excited to get the tour started!
Much of the Early Bird tour takes place outside. As it was early in the morning, some of the animals were still waking up for the day, like the sleepy bobcats!
And the snowy owl!
One of my favorite animals at the Zoo are the bald eagles! Luckily they were awake and chatting away.
My son always gets a kick out of testing out his reach against the eagle’s wing span.
One of the experiences on the Behind The Scenes tour is feeding the animals.
Twister and Husker are two gray wolves that reside at ZooAmerica. They were more than happy to approach the fence and eagerly await for the raw meat we threw in their den.
The wolves are one of my son’s favorite animals, so he was beyond excited for this particular feeding experience. It was cool to just watch the wolves run around up close. Check out my quick video of Twister and Husker in action.
We also had the chance to feed white-tail deer and wild turkeys. It was tricky at first to get the deer to come over as the turkeys were more than happy to try to eat the bananas we had for the deer in addition to the seeds we offered them.
But once the turkeys cleared, it was cool experience to feed the docile deer.
Speaking of docile and friendly, ever heard of pronghorns? I hadn’t until I first visited ZooAmerica!
The pronghorn is actually the fastest animal on land in North America! The ones who reside there at the Zoo are super friendly. Take one of the Behind The Scene tours at ZooAmerica, who knows, maybe you’ll get to pet a pronghorn too.
One of my favorite parts of the tour was getting up close to the Mountain Lions!! How cool are these big cats?
But what was even cooler was that we were able to feed them! Rosa was more than happy to take the meat treats we offered. While Rainier just wanted to play!
Check out this video of me offering the treat to Rosa!
After feeding the amazing animal residents outside, we headed indoors to one of ZooAmerica’s educational spaces. That is where we saw Milton Hershey’s taxidermy Polar Bear!
During the Creatures of the Night program, my son had a chance to pet the Chuckwalla. Little did he know, that at the Behind The Scenes tour, he would actually get to hold the lizard himself!
This little guy was so friendly and docile, and he just loved having his back pet!
They also brought out a baby Vampire Bat for us to meet. We couldn’t pet the little one, but that’s okay. The bat was still cute to look at!
Then came the big surprise… were were going to hold a peregrine falcon!
This hands down was a beyond awesome experience! That right there made the Behind The Scenes Tour totally worth it. Definitely a great experience for any budding animal lover.
I can’t say enough great things about our Tour! The guide was informative, friendly, and happy to answer any questions. It was so cool to get up close with the animals. Like I mentioned before, this is definitely a “must-do” for any animal lover.
Geared towards ages 3 and up, the cost of the tour is $51 per person, ages 3+, and includes same day admission to the Zoo. Participants must pre-register and pre-pay 72 hours in advance. Tours are limited to 10 participants each.
Want to learn more about what Hershey, PA has to offer? Check out some of my recent Hershey posts! While some of these events are already over for the season, keep your eye out for the fun to return next year:
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Christmas Comes to Hershey, PA
2018 Flavors of Fall at Hersheypark & HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD
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Get #HersheyparkHappy This Summer: 4-Pack Ticket #Giveaway! ~ #SweetestMoms
Enjoy Food Truck Fun at #HPFoodTruckFridays in Hersheypark!
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Hersheypark Springtime In The Park Opens March 30
A Sweet Year of Fun with 2018 #SweetestMoms!
Hersheypark Season Passes were provided by Hershey Resorts and Entertainment as part of the Sweetest Moms Ambassador Program. Images are property of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts. All opinions are 100% my own.