Get Ready for a Wild Encounter:
Swamp Things

Being a zookeeper takes careful preparation. Here are some things you need to know so that you can be prepared to work side by side with your Swamp Things host zookeeper:
  1. Communication between you and the host zookeeper is crucial. You must be able to read, speak, and understand English without the use of an interpreter.
  2. You must be attentive. Although the wetland creatures are comfortable working with their human caregivers, they are still wild animals and their behavior is unpredictable. It is important that you pay close attention to the guidance and instructions of the keeper you are spending the morning with. Never enter any animal area without direction from the keeper. Always wait for instructions and authorization from the keeper before approaching any of the animals while participating in observation and feeding sessions.
Please also note the following precautions:


Who can register for Swamp Things?

  • Adults
  • Youth ages 8 to 17 who must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian who pays no additional fee.

    What should I wear?
    As part of the program, you will be indoors, in warmly heated areas. You are welcome to wear either long pants or shorts. You will be asked to remove all jewelry other than smooth, (no stones) wedding bands.

    What if I'm late?
    If you are more than 15 minutes late, please call (708) 688-8673 and the keeper will meet you as soon as they are able. If you arrive late, the length of the program cannot be extended.

    What if I need to cancel?

    Wild Encounters, Windows into the Zoo, Hamill Family Play Zoo Classes, Adult Classes prices included a non-refundable deposit equal to 25% of program cost. Cancellations require advance notice of seven working days.

    What if I need to reschedule?
    Please follow the cancellation process outlined above. Once you have completed your cancellation, you are welcome to register for any available Wild Encounters program. Due to limited availability, we cannot guarantee program registration.

    May I bring a camera?
    Unfortunately, no. To ensure the safety of all involved, camera usage is prohibited during the Swamp Things program.

    Can my family or friends watch me participate in this program?
    To ensure the safety of all involved, only the registered program participants will be allowed in the areas where the program is taking place.

    What do I need to do with the Waiver sheet?
    Please bring a signed copy of the waiver with you to the program. We cannot offer the program without a signed waiver. If you are under 18, the waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian. If you have any questions about the waiver please call prior to the program date.

    I have read through the waiver and have questions about whether this is the right program for my child. What should I do?
    Please call (708) 688-8361 prior to registering for the program. We will do our best to answer each of your questions and to help you find a program that is a good fit for you.

    If you have additional questions or concerns, please call 708-688-8361 or email

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