tortoise encounter

A Wild Encounter at Zoo Atlanta

A Wild Encounter at Zoo Atlanta

We were hosted by Zoo Atlanta to experience the Zoo Atlanta Wild Encounters program. All opinions are my own.


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work with the different animals in the zoo?  To be able to touch, see and feed them.  The Zoo Atlanta Wild Encounters program offers guests that opportunity.


Our family took a trip to see the Aldabra Tortoise encounter and we honestly can’t wait to go again.


About The Tortoise Encounter

Before we began, we all had to sign a waiver and staff was on hand to go over basic rules and safety tips with the group.  Although you may not think of a turtle attacking anyone, they can have a powerful bite.  So during the feeding, you will use a bamboo stick with the treat on the end.


tortoise encounter


In the past, we typically don’t stop to watch the turtles because they were so inactive but this experience gave us the opportunity to see them as funny little individuals with very distinct personalities.


tortoise encounter


I couldn’t get over how much they enjoyed being pet and shown attention.  Everyone in the group was given the chance to feed the tortoises who loved their sweet potatoes and take photos.  This is something that is truly a ‘Kodak moment.’


tortoise encounter



Our guide was highly familiar with the tortoises and shared interesting facts like, all tortoises are turtles but not all turtles are tortoises. We also learned that the Aldabra tortoises live up to 200 years!


Tips For The Tortoise Encounter

Based on our trip, here are some good to know before you go:

  • waiver must be completed by each participant or guardian every time in order to participate. Participants who are under 18 years old and attending without a parent or guardian will need to bring a completed waiver with them.
  • Tickets: everyone over 3 years old MUST have a ticket.  Children 2 and under are free but can NOT feed the animals.
  • Children: anyone under 14 years old must be accompanied by a ticketed adult.  Those under 4 MUST be carried or held by the hand of an adult (NO STROLLERS ALLOWED).  Also, children ages 3 – 8 years old MUST be assisted by parent/guardian while feeding.
  • Wild Encounters must be reserved in advance.
  • Due to animal safety regulations, guests who have been outside of the United States or Canada within 10 days prior to the program will not be allowed to participate.
  • Arrive at the designated area 15 minutes beforehand.
  • Animals are more active early morning and at night, so plan your visit accordingly.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen and hand sanitizer.
  • Closed toe shoes are highly recommended.


Tortoise Encounter Pricing & Tickets

Tickets for the Tortoise Encounter are $39 plus the cost of Zoo admission. Zoo members pay $35.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 1 p.m.


tortoise encounter


When I think about this zoo and its humble beginnings, I am very impressed by all they have accomplished.  We were zoo members for years when my kids were little and we always had a wonderful time filled with lots of fun. I feel I’ve re-discovered the zoo now that my kids are teenagers and have fallen in love all over again.


tortoise encounter


The Scaly Slimy Spectacular exhibit is gorgeous.  This is the new home to the reptile and amphibians.  The displays are so well done, there is so much to see, and you just know the animals are having the best life possible.  And Zoo Atlanta continues to improve as they are now expanding the Savanah African Plains section.  You know we’ll be there to see it when completed.


Before you go, see our thoughts about Treetop Trail and how special our panda guests are.



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Genevieve Smotherman is a local to the metro Atlanta area and the face of The Autism Diva for Georgia. As a wife and mom of two, she knows how busy life can be and appreciates time making memories with her family. Also as she works full-time outside the home, she appreciates products and fast recipes that make home life less stressful.

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