Wild Wonders Animal Encounters at The Wonder Gardens

Animal Encounters are in addition to park admission! Admission can be paid separately online or in the Welcome Center!

Join us for a fun, guided adventure at the Wonder Gardens. You will be able to meet and feed our Sulcata tortoises and Rainbow lorikeets! Encounters last approximately 30 minutes. Please check in at least 15 minutes before your scheduled encounter. Wild Wonders Encounters take place on select days at 11:30 AM.

All encounters must have a minimum of 2 participants and a MAXIMUM of 6 participants. We want everyone to enjoy the fun, so if your party has fewer than 6, we may add other paid participants to the group. Please book ahead of time. Our slots fill up fast. If you have any questions, please email education@wondergardens.org.

Please read before booking- 

*Encounter Description* 

During the Wild Wonder Animal Encounter, we’ll meet and feed Sulcata tortoises and Rainbow and Coconut lorikeets in their Wonder Gardens habitats. The encounter guide will introduce you to our animal residents and provide information about safety and feeding techniques to ensure a great experience for both you and our animals.  Sulcata tortoises are the third largest tortoise species in the world and males can grow to be about 200 pounds.  When we encounter the tortoises, we will walk through crushed shell mulch to a 2-foot-wide gate and step over an 18-inch fence onto the natural-earth habitat where the tortoises freely roam. We will hold tongs to feed them fresh vegetables, stooping low to provide the feeding on their level. Closed toe shoes are required to protect participants’ feet. The tortoises will approach participants to eat, and participants may touch them lightly on their backs and take photos with them while feeding.  Next, we’ll walk the brick pathway to the lorikeet habitat, and learn more about these beautiful birds and the techniques to feed and interact with them. All loose jewelry such as hoop earrings, bracelets, and necklaces must be removed or tucked into clothing before entering. The habitat has a double door for the birds’ safety, so all participants will enter a small receiving area together before we move to the larger habitat. As we calmly enter, we’ll hear their piercing calls, chortles, and coos, and we will hold out a cup of nectar for them to drink. The experience includes the potential for birds to land on guests’ arms, shoulders, and head. During landings, the claws and beaks of the birds may be felt on the skin. In some cases, these landings may leave temporary marks or (rarely) pierce the skin.  It’s fun to watch the lorikeets shake their heads as they feed, and many guests prefer to wear clothing that can take the drops of brown nectar. As the encounter wraps up, participants are encouraged to wipe hands well with a wet wipe, use hand sanitizer, and enjoy the rest of their day at Wonder Gardens.

If you have any questions or would like to request accommodations, please contact us at education@wondergardens.org

By checking this box and reserving this session, I accept the “Wonder Garden Encounter Rules and Cancellation Policy” as stated below. This also explicitly authorizes The Wonder Gardens to cancel the reservation without a refund should I be non-compliant.


* Wonder Garden Encounter Rules and Cancellation Policy* 

  • To redeem your tickets please see a Guest Services in the Welcome Center and they will give all paid participants a wristband.
  • For safety reasons, no one under the age of 5 years may participate in the encounter.
  • Participants under the age of 14 years must have a paid adult to accompany them.
  • YOU MUST WEAR CLOSED-TOED SHOES, or you will not be able to participate.
  • Participants must agree to abide by Wonder Gardens’ safety protocols and sign a liability waiver prior to the encounter. Minors’ waivers must be signed by their parent or legal guardian.
  • Encounter components are subject to change without notice due to weather, animal, staff, or park conditions, and in some cases Wonder Gardens must postpone or cancel an encounter.  It is important to note that weather conditions sometimes “materialize” in SW Florida, and they are not always predictable based on the apps we have available to us, and that staffing, park conditions, or animal care needs vary and may also not be predictable.
  • If Wonder Gardens postpones or cancels an encounter, we will offer an opportunity to reschedule. If participants are unable to reschedule, a full refund will be provided if the encounter has not yet started, or a 50% refund will be provided if the encounter is in progress.
  • Guests may cancel their reservation with no penalty up to 48 hours in advance of the scheduled encounter. For refund inquiries please contact our Guest Services team.  After the cancellation deadline, no refund will be issued.
  • If you are more than 10 minutes late with a no-call / no-show, your encounter will be canceled, and your ticket is nonrefundable.