FAQs

Chances are you're not the only one who wants to know. Many of our visitors have the same questions. Browse the list below to find the answer you're looking for.

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Can I bring food items in with me while I visit the Zoo?

Yes. You are welcome to bring food, coolers, etc. with you, just please refrain from bringing in any glass or alcohol. Please do not feed any of your food to the Zoo animals. Outdoor seating can be found at various locations around the Zoo with the main Picnic Area near the Carousel. Outside food and drink may not be taken in to any of the Zoo restaurants.

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I lost my membership card; can I still come to the Zoo?

Yes. The admissions gate has a listing of all of our members. Simply show a photo ID, and you will be admitted. For faster check in on future visits, please request a replacement card by calling our membership office at 719.633.9925, ext. 130. There is a nominal $5 fee for the new card.

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Can we bring pets into the Zoo or to the Shrine?

We love all animals. However, your pets are not allowed in the Zoo or at the Shrine because they can startle and stress the Zoo animals. Visually impaired visitors may tour certain areas of the Zoo with their assistance dog. To schedule a tour with you and your assistant dog, please contact Guest Services in advance at 719.633.9925, ext. 121.

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How many hours does it take to go through the Zoo?

It really depends on you. If you were to see everything at a fast pace, it would take about an hour and a half. To stop and enjoy your favorite animals and have lunch or a snack, it takes an average of three and a half hours. The Zoo is a wonderful relaxing place to wander through, so we suggest allowing ample time to take advantage!

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Why isn't the tram running today?

The tram runs daily from late spring through Labor Day and on select high traffic days the rest of the year, weather permitting. Heavy rain, snow or mechanical difficulties may keep it from running on a particular day. Please call ahead to 719-633-9925 or e-mail info@cmzoo.org to confirm whether the tram will be running. Please visit our Accessibilities & Special Needs page for further tram details and access information.

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Why aren't the giraffes outside?

If the giraffes are not out, it's most likely due to weather or yard conditions. We generally do not put them out if it's below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or if the yard is muddy or icy. With their long legs, giraffes can fall and get injured on slippery surfaces. In addition, they may not be out when we're doing construction or yard maintenance, they're having a veterinary procedure, or we're having a training session utilizing the chute in their yard.

You may check our live GiraffeCam to see if the giraffes are out on the day of your visit. You can still visit and feed the giraffes when they are inside their building, too!

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Can I drive to the Shrine without going through the Zoo?

The only road to the Shrine goes through the Zoo, and the admission cost for the Shrine is included in your Zoo admission or Zoo membership. The road to the Shrine is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from the day after Labor Day through April 30, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from May 1 through Labor Day.

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Is the carousel operating today?

The carousel operates daily May 1 through Labor Day. However, if we have seasonally warm weather during the off season, we try to open it up. Call ahead to find out if the carousel will be operating the day you want to visit (in the off-season).

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Can we go out and then come back in?

Yes. Admission to the Zoo is for the entire day. Please save your receipt for re-entry!

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Where can we get a golf cart?

Only the Zoo staff uses golf carts for transportation. There are no motorized vehicles for hire at the Zoo.

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Do you accept out of state checks?

No. We only accept cash, in-state checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

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Where are the bears?

The path to the Asiatic bears is directly across from the Monkey Pavilion's main entrance doors (DOUBLE glass doors) on the west side of the building. The grizzly bears are located in Rocky Mountain Wild, accessible by going up and through the fire tower. Visit the Zoo map for illustrative details.

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I have leftover meat that I would like to donate; will you accept that?

For safety/health reasons, we only accept USDA inspected meat. It must be in the original wrapper and cannot be expired. If it does not meet these criteria, we can refer you to rescue centers and/or rehabilitators that may accept your meat.

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I want to be a Zoo veterinarian. Can I volunteer with the Zoo vets?

The Veterinary Department accepts Veterinarian and Veterinary Technician interns. Our Veterinary Internship is only offered to fourth-year veterinary students. These are students who are enrolled in a veterinary college or veterinary technician program. Acceptance is competitive. Please send a resume and letter of interest to the Zoo, Attn: Vet Department, to be considered. Additional animal programs such as Keeper Shadows, Keeper Interviews and zookeeping Internships are offered, along with a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout the Zoo.

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I have an animal that I don't want; will you take it?

It depends on the species and whether or not it fits into our Master Plan. Usually, this is not the case, but we can refer you to a rescue center that may be able to help. You may also consult with the Pikes Peak Humane Society at 719.473.1741.

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I found an injured baby bird or mammal; what should I do?

All wildlife in Colorado is managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The Colorado Springs office can be contacted at 719-227-5200. They also have information to help you with animals that they do not handle, such as large game animals (adult deer, bears, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, moose, etc.), bats, domestic animals and deceased animals.

When you call about an animal in trouble, make note of the following:

  • Be specific about the location.
  • Describe the animal's condition clearly.
  • Give a contact phone number and name.
  • Stay near the animal until help arrives.
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Don't animals get bored just sitting around all day?

They certainly can become bored – especially the more intelligent ones. That's why we have extensive training and enrichment programs. The zookeepers spend a lot of time every day giving the animals things to do that mentally stimulate them and elicit natural behaviors.

Examples of enrichment:
You may see sheets, boxes or bags in with the primates. They love to play with and explore these items. Carnivores and some raptors may have bones to pick at or chew on. Lots of the animals (elephants, cats, bears, primates and other small mammals) get scent enrichments, too. These may include various perfumes, other animal scents and spices.

Training programs are also important, not only to keep the animals stimulated, but also for medical reasons. We can collect blood from elephants and tapirs simply by "asking" them to hold still. Some of our great apes are trained to accept routine inoculations. Come see some training and enrichment in action at our animal shows and happenings. These are just a few examples of the training and enrichment programs we have for the animals.

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Can Zookeepers go into areas with the animals?

Respect for animal and zookeeper safety is our utmost concern. Therefore, it depends on the individual animal and/or species.

Examples are:
We work "protected contact" with Zoo elephants. We do not go in with great apes; they're too large, strong and dangerous. We can go in with some birds, reptiles and small mammals when necessary. We do not go in with the tigers, leopards or lions. We avoid going in with most primates because they are not comfortable with us being in their enclosures and can carry diseases that are transmittable to humans (and vice versa).

We also have a "two-person rule" whenever we're going to enter an enclosure with most animals. This is a safety rule so that no one is ever alone with a potentially dangerous animal. (Most exotic animals – even the ones we go in with – are potentially dangerous.)