The Los Angeles Zoo’s new Hippo Encounter is designed to be an educational, hands-on opportunity. Small groups of up to 15 people get the chance to go behind the scenes for 20 minutes getting up close and personal with 15-month old baby, Rosie, and her mom, Mara, while they enjoy lunch.
I’m sure the zoo would like us all to see this as a cute and cuddly family activity. But hippos are the third-largest land mammal on earth. Remember how scary they were on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland? Blowing bubbles and wiggling their ears menacingly? This is an adventure, like swimming with sharks, but you do have big steel bars to protect you. Definitely add this thrill to your bucket list. You just have to be at least four years old.
Every weekend and holiday, at 12 noon, you can experience the Hippo Encounter, with an opportunity to reach out and feel their cool, smooth skin (just watch out for the teeth). The tour concludes with an unforgettable photo op with the hippos. Due to the popularity of this unique experience, purchase of Hippo Encounter tickets ($15 per person in addition to regular $20 Zoo admission) is suggested in advance via the L.A. Zoo’s website or (323) 644-6001.