Visiting the Zoo is more than just looking at animals in exhibits. Visitors can also touch some unique animal friends in four interactive areas. These attractions provide guests with the opportunity to have hands on fun with some of nature’s friendliest animals. For those that have ever wanted to take a selfie with a goat or pet a kangaroo, the Nashville Zoo has a few interactive exhibits created just for you.
Located between Unseen New World and Flamingo Lagoon, Critter Encounters is the place to get up close with some of Nashville Zoo's most personable animals. The exhibit is home to two Galapagos tortoises (sisters Bella and Darwin), goats, camels, alpaca and a variety of birds. Visitors are encouraged to pet and brush the small herd of playful goats roaming within the area.
The Shell Station features up to 10 Sulcata tortoises that range in age from three to five years old. Guests enter the exhibit and can walk (or crawl) around with the tortoises and touch their shells. Sulcata tortoises are native to the Sahara desert in North Africa. They are the third largest tortoise in the world and can live to be over 70 years old. Knowledgeable keepers are on hand to answer questions and give fun facts about the tortoises eating and burrowing habits.
Guests can also enjoy a real nose-to-beak experience at Lorikeet Landing as they stroll through the beautiful aviary filled with more than 50 colorful Australian lorikeet parrots. Lorikeet Landing is a 2,400 square foot aviary which allows Nashville Zoo guests to walk into the habitat where lorikeets fly freely inside. Lorikeets are very smart, friendly and curious birds. When they aren’t sipping nectar right out of your hands, it’s common to catch them exploring visitor’s hair, hats and clothing.
Kangaroo Kickabout gives guests the opportunity to enter the home of 18 red kangaroos and interact with them. Kangaroo Kickabout features 4,500 square feet of naturalistic Australian landscape. Guests can view the ‘roos from an outside area, or get a closer experience by walking a winding path through the middle of the habitat. While guests must stay on the pathway, kangaroos are free to wander the exhibit. If a kangaroo wanders onto the trail, guests are able to gently pet them on their backs. Zoo keepers are on-hand at all times to answer questions and monitor the animals and guests.