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Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Have you ever met a penguin, fed a giant tortoise or held a giant walking stick?

Book Your Behind-the-Scenes Tour Today!

Share an experience like no other with family and friends when you go behind the scenes at the Saint Louis Zoo!

Book one of our Animal Tours to get to know the animals up close and see what it's like to be a zookeeper. Or, book a Specialty Tour to explore the inner workings of facilities such as our veterinary hospital, research laboratories and administration areas.

What to Know Before You Book

  • All tours are walking tours. No transportation is provided.
  • Some tours take place in temperature-controlled environments or outside. Please dress accordingly.
  • Closed-toe shoes are required for all tours.
  • Tours are not guaranteed to be private unless your group fills the maximum capacity.
  • Due to the unpredictability of animals, tour experiences may vary.
  • Face masks are recommended but not required.
  • All guests should be aware of Zoo services and policies and must abide by staff instructions at all times.
  • Each tour has a specific age requirement listed in the tour description.
  • For safety reasons, children under 18 must be accompanied by a paid adult.
  • While all of our public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be. If there are any physical, cognitive or behavioral needs within your group, please call our Tour Agents at (314) 646-4840 so our staff can be prepared to make any reasonable accommodations.
  • In compliance with best practices for zoo animal welfare — and the quarantine protocols outlined by federal regulations and the Association of Zoo and Aquarium accreditation standards — service animals are not permitted in our behind-the-scenes animal areas.
  • Tours are non-refundable. If it becomes necessary to reschedule your tour, please contact Guest Relations at or (314) 646-4689. Tours must be rescheduled within 30 days of cancellation. No refunds or rescheduling opportunities will be given for no-call/no-shows.
  • The Saint Louis Zoo reserves the right to cancel any tour due to unforeseeable animal health, weather or staffing issues. In case of such an event, the Zoo will contact you to reschedule your tour.
  • If redeeming a Zoo gift card to book a tour, please call Guest Relations at or (314) 646-4689.

Tours can also be combined with your corporate or private event — or add extra amenities, such as Zooline Railroad tickets, Adventure Passes and more!

Schools (high school level and above) are welcome to book tours, but space is limited. Call our Tour Agent at (314) 781-0900 ext. 4840 for school tour accommodations.

Animal Tours

Talk about a CLOSE encounter! Get to know the Zoo's wildlife in a whole new way with a tour experience you'll remember for a lifetime.


Specialty Tours

Get a backstage pass to explore our animal care facilities, or take a deep dive into the Zoo's business operations, conservation initiatives and more!