Behind the Scenes Experience With Zoo Animals

Recently, I realized that you haven’t truly experienced the zoo until you’ve experienced it behind the scenes.


My family has a zoo membership so we go multiples times throughout the year. At this point, I felt like I had seen everything the zoo had to offer.

Out of all the animals, my favorite ones to see are the giraffes and my favorite thing to do is feed them. Every time I see them I think, “God sure has a wonderful imagination to have  come up with these animals!”

They are so beautiful and majestic, yet supremely awkward at the same time. And the built-in sunscreen on their tongues – genius design!

Behind the Scenes “Wild Encounter” at the Zoo

On my last visit to the Oklahoma City Zoo, I went with my Leadership Oklahoma City class to learn about the zoo and its planned expansion. As a bonus, they treated us to a behind the scenes “Wild Encounter” with elephants.

We entered the building where the elephants live, and we were given the rare and exciting opportunity to see them up close.


Elephant High Five

We saw them being trained and were told they know about 60 verbal commands. They are that smart! They do things like pick up their feet and place them on a metal bar so the zoo staff can check the bottoms. It’s part of a daily health check routine. They even open their mouths wide open and lay down on the ground on command.

We also got to see them eat. I loved seeing them wrap their fleshy trunks around pieces of fruit and chunks of hay.

Watching elephants is very different up close because you can see every detail on their body. You can see the folds and wrinkles in their skin, their black hairs sticking up, and the pink insides of their trunk.

The whole time the zoo staff shared lots of interesting information about elephants and answered our many questions.

I’m saving the best part for last… I was allowed to pet a baby elephant! Yes, they let me do that and I have pictures!

My “Wild Encounter” animal experience left me with warm, fuzzy feelings about elephants. I like elephants better now than I ever did before!  The whole experience changed me.

The Oklahoma City Zoo also offers “Wild Encounters” experiences with grizzly bears, rhinos, sea lions, flamingos and galapagos tortoises. Many other zoos offer behind the scenes tours as well. They would make great experience gifts for children and adults alike!

People are so difficult. Give me an elephant any day.  – Mark Shand

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