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Awesome Experiences with Animals at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Awesome Experiences with Animals at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Our kids are growing up to become quite the animal lovers.  They enjoy observing and learning the science about animals, and we try to work that into all the travels we can.  Most of the time, we’ll bypass the local zoo to try to find local animals in their natural habitats.  But the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in Gulf Shores is an experience I’m very glad we sought out.Learning about Alligators at the Gulf Coast Zoo

Deemed “The Little Zoo That Could,” the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo isn’t as large as the zoos we are used to.  But it offers a unique and intimate look at the animals it cares for.  They call these experiences “encounters,” and you are able to touch, feel and hold the animals in the encounter.  They offer encounters with kangaroos, lemurs and reptiles.

The baby tiger encounter was not opened during our visit.  In speaking with the zookeeper, I found that the zoo raises the baby tigers and offers the encounters.  Then when the tigers reach breeding age, they send them back to the breeding facility and receive another batch of babies.  It is popular with the visitors, and the tiger encounters book up quickly.

Holding a turtle at Gulf Shores Zoo

Each encounter is an additional amount on top of your zoo admission.  The kangaroo, lemur and reptile encounter tickets can be bought when you buy your admission ticket and range from $5 – 10 a person.

I’ve never been this close to animals!  The lemurs jumped on my head and  I held a baby kangaroo.  At one point, there was a large snake wrapped around my son.  It was really, really cool.  If the beaches weren’t enough to pull me to this area again and again, this zoo would sell me on the idea.

Yawning Bear at Gulf Coast Zoo

What the Kids Loved the Most

The kids loved all the encounters, but they really enjoyed the kangaroos the best.  The lemurs got a little close for Claire’s comfort, but Luke enjoyed every moment of it.

Lemur hug at Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

They also enjoyed feeding the animals they were able to hand feed.  While they’ve hand fed animals before, they enjoyed the ability to feed animals you wouldn’t normally be able to in a petting zoo setting.

Feeding sheep at Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

What Mom Loved the Most


Kangaroo Animal Encounter Gulf Coast Alabama Zoo

Information about the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Website : Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Hours : 9 – 4

Admission : $10 Adults, $7 kids (2 and under free), animal encounters are an additional amount.

Directions : The zoo was a little hard to find.  There didn’t seem to be a clearly marked sign on the main road.

Follow the map though.  It’s there, I promise!

View Larger Map

Bottle feeding zoo animals at Gulf Coast Zoo Alabama

Disclosure : During our visit, we were guests of the Gulf Coast Zoo and Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. All the opinions, excitement and smiles are ours alone!

  1. Muza-chan 26 September, 2013

    Great pictures, especially the first one…

  2. noel morata 26 September, 2013

    Now that is a cool petting zoo, love all the amazing animals that you get to visit!

  3. Leigh 26 September, 2013

    What a fun place to visit. I’d think I’d be emptying out my wallet so I could touch everything. I would really love to get up close to lemurs as they seem so exotic.

    • Amy Moore 27 September, 2013

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure I would have spent a crazy amount of cash to play with tigers. Unfortunately they just weren’t old enough yet. Well, fortunately for my wallet.

  4. Nancie 26 September, 2013

    Looks like so much fun! I love the first shot.

  5. Tracy 26 September, 2013

    What a fantastic place to visit. We’ve been to a few small zoos in Australia that allow you to get up close to Australian animals and farm animals. My kids loved it. Until the emu bit my daughters finger though … she still hates emus! Had to laugh at the photo of the lemur. I bet your daughter was surprised by that encounter

    • Amy Moore 27 September, 2013

      Yeah, it was a little too close for comfort with her. She really enjoyed the kangaroos. They weren’t quite as enthusiastic 🙂

      I don’t think I’ve ever been face to face with an emu. Ostriches are pretty aggressive, so I can see how your daughter could still be holding a grudge.

  6. Michele {Malaysian Meanders} 29 September, 2013

    That picture of you daughter with the lemur has me laughing. This zoo certainly sounds like a step up from the run-of-the-mill petting zoo experience. So glad you got to hug a kangaroo!

  7. Roxie bruno 2 March, 2014

    I own a condo at the beach club and I plan on visiting the zoo this week.Is it possible to hold the baby tiger for a fee? thanks