Animal Encounters are currently only available as part of a Private Group Tour.

Alternatively, you can book a Virtual Animal Encounter.

Private Group Tours

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)

The below encounters are not currently available.

Add on a unique animal encounter to make your visit extra special!

Behind-the-scenes tour and animal encounter range in time from 30 minutes – 45 minutes. All ages may participate, but ages 1+ count towards your registration numbers.
*Admission not included

Pick from the following animals:

Living Coast - Animal Encounters - Turtles

Feed the Green Sea Turtles

Join a Keeper and feed our green sea turtles some lettuce, broccoli, bell pepper, or other veggies! Enjoy a private, behind-the-scenes tour of our aquarium prep room and visit our ocean invertebrates touch pool. 

Feed the Rays & Meet a Shark

  • Hand-feed our stingrays and enjoy a private, behind-the-scenes tour of our aquarium prep room and visit our ocean invertebrates touch pool.
Living Coast - Animal Encounters - Barn Owl

Meet a Raptor

Get a private tour of Raptor Row with one of our Keepers and an up-close encounter with one of these birds.

  • Our majestic barn owl
  • Our smallest owl, the screech owl
  • Our beautiful American kestrel, North America’s smallest falcon
  • Our large regal, red-tailed hawk

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 that includes a tour of Raptor Row. [Ages 5+] 

Living Coast - Animal Encounters - Coastal Glossy Snake

Reptile Rendezvous

Pick two reptiles to meet and enjoy a private, behind-the-scenes tour of our aquarium prep room and visit our ocean invertebrates touch pool.

  • 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

Awesome Opossum

Meet and touch one of our Virginia opossum ambassadors! 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.

*Special Note: Animal presentations and behind-the-scene areas are subject to change based on the health and welfare of the animals.

Private Encounters:

To guarantee a tour of your desire you must pre-register. Full payment of tour fees is required during registration. Registrations must be 3 days in advance online. Call 619-409-5908 if less than 3 days to see about last minute bookings. Admission not included in the Animal Encounter fees.


If a particular Animal Encounter has not booked when you arrive at the Living Coast, walk-in guests will have the opportunity to join a shared-private tour for $10-$12 / person (ages 1+). This promotion is only good for walk-in guests and not applicable for reservation ahead of time. Availability and animal choice is not guaranteed with walk-ins. If you would like to guarantee that you and your family will be able to participate in an Animal Encounter, a private reservation is highly recommended.

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!

Questions? Call us at 619-409-5908