Tropic World Africa Great Ape Escape
Special Instruction Sheet

Great Ape Escape is a unique opportunity to experience the daily life of a professional zoo keeper in the Tropic World building. Because of the special nature of this program, we have included some additional instructions.

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 and please wear closed-toe shoes. Because you may be in front of the public during various feeding sessions, we ask that you wear something presentable without holes or noticeable wear. There is the chance that your clothing will come in contact with water. You will be asked to remove all jewelry other than smooth, (no stones) wedding bands.

Are there any special physical requirements for this Wild Encounter?
It is important to be able to go up and down stairs at a moderate pace and kneel for up to 15 minutes.

Where do we meet?
A keeper will meet you at the side entrance of Tropic World: Asia behind Baboon Island by the "Wild Encounter meets here" sign promptly at 9:00 a.m. If you are being dropped off, please follow the drive way near the building. If you are parking your car for the length of the program, please park in the south lot and walk down to the door. Since this is prior to zoo regular opening hours, please do not visit any other parts of the zoo.

What if I’m late?
If you are more than 15 minutes late, please call (708) 688- 8409, 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 do I need to know about working with the animals?
Although our gorillas and other Tropic World Africa animals 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 training and feeding sessions.

May I bring a camera?
Unfortunately no, to insure the safety of all involved, camera usage is prohibited during the Tropic World Africa Great Ape Escape program.

Can my family or friends watch me participate in this program?
To insure 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 your 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.

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.

If you have questions, please call 708-688-8361 or send an email to