NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The Audubon Zoo is now offering six new “Wild Encounters” for families and visitors to experience in which they’ll get up close and personal with alpacas, jaguars, orangutans, sea lions, black bears and tortoises.

WGNO’s Kenny Lopez got a first look at these one-of-a-kind ‘Wild Encounters,’ which include:

Alpaca Palooza – Get up close with these unique South American animals where you’ll be able to learn why fibers from their coats are so prized. You’ll be their favorite visitor when you give them a snack. 
Jammin with Jaguar – Go behind the scenes and help feed one of Audubon’s jaguars and learn about this beautiful animal. For this Wild Encounter, you’ll wear a face mask to keep the jaguars healthy. 
Orangutan Family Fun – Learn about our orangutan family and watch as they interact with each other, display in their version of acrobatics, and engage with their care team and you! 
Sea Lion Splash – Tour their special kitchen, check out their diet and get up close as they work with their skilled care team in training sessions. 
Black Bear Bonanza – Accompany keepers in the Louisiana Swamp as they work with and feed Audubon’s three young female black bears. 
Giant Tortoise Adventure – Meet Audubon’s oldest resident and learn more about this fascinating species that can live a century or more. 

Senior Vice-President and Managing Director of Audubon Zoo Daine Appleberry said, “We’re offering a unique opportunity for guests to engage with our animals for the first time. You can get up close to bears, jaguars, alpacas, sea lions and tortoises. This is an opportunity to bring guests closer to see species that they won’t see in the wild in New Orleans.”

For more information about these “Wild Encounters,” visit the Audubon Nature Institute website.

Watch Lopez get a preview of some of these encounters in the video player at the top of this story.

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