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Up close with a cheetah
Up close with a cheetah
Hands-on with the feed
Vet For A Day tour
Close encounter with a 2400kg rhino!

Perth Zoo

Thursday, June 19, 2003
Perth Zoo offers a great experience where visitors can go behind the scenes and learn more about rare and wonderful animals – up close.

Their Close Encounters program lets you visit African, Asian and Australian wildlife on three types of tours. Behind The Scenes, Keeper For A Day and a look at the Veterinary Department which is mainly of interest to those working in the field, but general public are more than welcome.

Behind The Scenes tours have a maximum of eight people and cater for children over 7 years. You get close to giraffes, pat a rhinoceros (through a specially designed area guarded by wooden poles!), tigers and elephants.

Keeper For A Day tours are one-on-one where you follow the professional keeper for a day. You choose your favourite animal to spend time with, including cats, and get closer to them than you ever thought possible.

Cheetahs, hyena, meerkats, elephants, orang-utans, nocturnal house animals, native species and birds are all there for you to chum up with. Tours are hands-on and you can expect to do anything from preparing food and feeding the animals to mucking-out their cages and pens.

This tour allows you to learn a lot about the behaviour and backgrounds of the animals and you may be able to be involved in an enrichment program. This is where zookeepers develop toys and activities for the animals.

There are a range of tours in the Veterinary Rounds. They are aimed mainly at people already working in the field but many people are interested in the well-being and general animal care.

For as little as $40 a year you can adopt your own animal. Adoption fees support Perth Zoo’s conservation and breeding programs, are tax-deductible and your own exotic animal provides interesting dinner conversation!

For safety and enjoyment the organisers ask that you do not wear bright colours, particularly red. You should wear enclosed, flat shoes and while camera are permitted, photographs are for personal use only. Commercial use is strictly prohibited – for further information about this you need to speak to zoo authorities.

Of course you don’t need to be on a Close Encounter Tour to enjoy the zoo – it has many attractions you can explore just wandering about.


South Perth in Western Australia.


Perth Zoo Close Encounter tours start at $75 per person. They need to be booked in advance. The zoo opens every day from 9am to 5pm for general visits. Gift vouchers are available.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Perth Zoo
20 Labouchere Road, South Perth 6151
Ph: 08 9474 3551
Fax: 08 9474 4420
To book a flight visit or call 13 13 13.

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