Private Animal Encounters are currently only available Monday – Wednesday as part of our Private Wildlife Tour experience.

If you visit during our open hours, be sure to check out our scheduled presentations, animal exhibits and watch for keepers walking around with our scaly, furry, and feathery friends.


Private Wildlife Tours

Offered Monday-Wednesday

Book an experience you and your family will never forget. You will be escorted on a private tour around the Living Coast, visiting native wildlife such as sea turtles, sharks & rays, and eagles. Complete your tour with an up-close encounter of your choosing!

Private Group Tour includes:

  • 2-hour private tour by highly trained educator
  • Admission for up to 10 people
  • Encounter with one of our animal ambassadors
  • Options include:
    • Feed a sea turtle or a bat ray
    • Opossum
    • Bird (owl, hawk, parrots, kestrel)
    • Reptile (snake, tortoise, iguana)
    • Marine Species (sea stars, crabs, stingrays, sharks)

Pick from the following animals:

Living Coast - Animal Encounters - Turtles

Feed a Green Sea Turtle

Join your guide and feed a green sea turtle some lettuce, broccoli, bell pepper, or other veggies! Listen carefully as they come to the surface to breathe and watch water squirt out of their nostrils. A fan favorite experience for sure!

Awesome Opossum

Meet and touch a Virginia opossum! Join a member of our Animal Care team as you learn about the unique adaptations that make opossums North America’s only marsupial! Watch her enjoy some of her favorite noms as you get to feel the fur on her back and take photos.

Living Coast - Animal Encounters - Barn Owl

Meet a Raptor

Join your guide on an up-close encounter with one of these birds.

  • Our majestic barn owl
  • Our smallest owl, the screech owl
  • Our beautiful American kestrel or Merlin, part of the falcon family
  • Our large regal, red-tailed hawk or Harris’s hawk

Feed the Rays Or Meet a Shark

Hand-feed our stingrays or enjoy touching a local shark species. Are they smooth or rough? You decide as you get close to one of these amazing local favorites!

Living Coast - Animal Encounters - Coastal Glossy Snake

Reptile Rendezvous

Pick your favorite reptile to meet and learn about.

  • Slow and steady desert tortoise
  • A local favorite, rosy boa snake
  • The “king of snakes”, our kingsnake
  • Our quick gopher snake
  • The local iguana, the chuckwalla
  • A non-native resident, Solomon Islands skink
Living Coast - Animal Encounters - Parrot

Parrot Pandemonium

A group of parrots is called a pandemonium, and even though we only have two, they can be a handful- literally! Meet and feed our pair of mitred conures in this up-close experience.

The Living Coast - Field Trips - Shark Eggs

Totally Tidepools

Do you have a beach lover in your group? Tidepool invertebrates include sea stars, crabs, snails, and other fun species found along the San Diego beaches.


Cancellation Policy

No refunds will be given for cancellations less than 3 days prior the scheduled encounter date. For cancellations made more than 3 days prior to the date, an 80% refund will be given. LCDC reserves the right to cancel any encounter or modify the encounter due to animal well-being.  In the event that LCDC cancels an encounter, all fees will be refunded.  Encounters are held rain or shine!

Animal Choice May Not Be Guaranteed

Animal encounters are subject to change based on the welfare and health of our animal ambassadors. We will do our best to accommodate your preferences.

Questions? Call us at 619-409-5908