2024 – See How They Learn!

Lion Tour Details

Tour Dates: This tour is available year-round. Schedule public tour dates are: May 18 (sold out), July 20 (sold out), September 21 (sold out). Explore private tour options at this URL: https://nczoo.com/vip-private-tours-2023/

Tour Time and Meeting Place: 3 p.m. Guests meet at the lower Lion viewing area

Minimum Age: 12 years old – A paying adult must accompany children younger than 16.

Tour Overview: This tour usually ends around 4:15 p.m. and is not for the faint of heart! Guests go inside the lion barn to watch the keepers interact with a lion during a training session. Lions up close look larger and roar louder than lions stretched out and resting inside their grassy habitat. 

Watching a keeper and a lion interact during a training session is amazing. Keepers rely exclusively on positive rewards (healthy treats) to elicit the lions’ cooperation in learning new tasks. And lions learn quickly when food is included in the training. 

ADA Status Restrictions: This tour is ADA accessible, but guests with mobility issues, including relying on wheelchairs or shooters, should note this on their tour order form so we can prepare to assist them. A short walk over uneven terrain is required to enter the barn.

Important Health and Safety Restrictions

Safety Notes: To accommodate the needs of our staff and guests, we limit the size of the group attending this tour to 6 people.
Guests may not approach or try to touch a lion during this encounter. Guests must remain inside designated spaces while viewing the lion training and visiting the behind-the-scenes area. 

Special Restrictions: Because lions and most cats are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 infections, guests may be required to wear masks to participate in this behind-the-scenes tour. We are unable to waive this restriction for any reason. The Zoo may implement additional health measures (e.g., requiring guests to wear gloves) if new or more serious medical hazards emerge to threaten the well-being of our animals, guests, or staff.  If we change the medical restrictions noted on the tour after selling tickets to the tour, we will email ticketholders about these changes.