Giraffe Encounter
Get up-close-and-personal at the Tall Wonders giraffe viewing deck!

The Details:

  • The cost is $5 per person. You will receive two pieces of giraffe food (a small tree branch called “browse”) and be admitted into the supervised encounter area on the Tall Wonders giraffe viewing deck.
  • One person per paid ticket may enter the encounter area, so everyone else - get your cameras ready!
  • Tickets can be purchased at the giraffe deck 5 minutes before the encounters begin.

Giraffe encounters occur daily at 11:45 am and 2:00 pm and may run for up to 30 minutes. Encounters may be canceled for very hot or inclement weather, and are subject to change or cancellation if the giraffes are not approaching the viewing deck on any given day. These amazing creatures are wild animals and we cannot guarantee that they will stick to our schedule. Encounter times may vary seasonally.

Giraffe Encounter FAQs

What is the giraffe food?
We feed our giraffes branches from acacia, elm and other trees that grow right here at the Sacramento Zoo (branches on which animals feed are referred to as browse). Many zoos use biscuits for encounters, but our giraffes prefer browse.

Can I bring my own food for the giraffes?
No, our giraffes are on a strict diet. What they eat and the amount eaten daily is monitored carefully by our veterinary staff.

Where do I buy the encounter ticket?
Encounter tickets are available at the Tall Wonders giraffe viewing deck starting 5 minutes before the encounters are scheduled to begin. You will be given the giraffe food after you buy your ticket.

Can I use a credit card to purchase my giraffe encounter ticket?
We only accept cash as payment for giraffe encounters at this time. There is an ATM located in the Zoofari Market gift store.

Can I buy my encounter ticket in advance?
As we cannot guarantee the giraffe's behavior each day, we will only be selling tickets at the Tall Wonders viewing deck 5 minutes before the encounter begins.

Can I find out before my Zoo visit if the giraffe encounters are happening on a particular day?
The Tall Wonders deck is open daily for giraffe viewing. Please call (916) 808-5888 on the day you plan to visit for updated information on the encounter availability and schedule.

How many pieces of food can I buy? Can I take a group up on the deck?
Because this is a limited opportunity, at this time guests may only purchase one piece of food per person. One person per paid ticket may enter the encounter area.

I am a member. Do I get a discount or special feeding time?
This limited experience is available to all of our guests and members at the same price and times.

Can children feed the giraffes?
Absolutely! As with any animal encounter, we recommend that children wash their hands immediately after interacting with our giraffes; giraffe tongues can be very sticky! 

What if it rains? What if it’s too hot?
In cases of severe weather, encounters may be canceled.

What if the giraffes do not come over to the Tall Wonder viewing deck?
As these are wild animals, we cannot guarantee that they will want to eat according our schedule. If you have already paid for your encounter and the giraffes do not come to the deck, we will grant a refund.

Will this experience be available all year?
Yes, but the encounters are weather dependent.

Can a stroller or wheelchair go up on the Tall Wonders viewing deck?
Yes. The deck is fully ADA compliant and stroller parking is also available.

Do the giraffes bite?
They sometimes lick but are not likely to bite.

Can I get germs or get sick?
All animals have germs in their mouths. Giraffes have no special germs of concern. We ask that all guests use hand sanitizer (available at the encounter area) after they feed the giraffes.

Can I take pictures?
Absolutely! However, the person taking the photo must stand outside the encounter area.

Can I touch/pet the giraffes?
No, the giraffes are not pets and we want to respect them. Giraffes do not enjoy being touched and it may startle them. 

What if I have a large group? Can each member of the group participate if they buy the special food item?
Absolutely, as long as the group does not exceed 50 people and all members are present. However, encounters are available on a first come, first served basis. 

The Sacramento Zoological Society  // 501(c)(3) nonprofit
3930 West Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95822  //  916-808-5888
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