Posted: 1:52 p.m. Monday, April 9, 2012

Zoo Atlanta offers new program to feed pandas, giraffes, Komodo dragons

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Zoo Atlanta announces new feedings photo
Wild Encounters, the behind-the-scenes experience is a little different.

By Nelson Hicks

ATLANTA -- Zoo Atlanta has announced a pair of new programs that will have visitors feeding giraffes and elephants and going face-to-face with Komodo dragons and giant pandas.

"We're tremendously exited to open this year's spring season with Twiga Terrace and Wild Encounters," said Raymond King, Zoo Atlanta president. "These are truly once-in-a-lifetime experiences."

GALLERY: Zoo Atlanta unveils new behind-the-scenes experiences

The first program Zoo Atlanta unveiled was the giraffe feeding program. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m. each day, guests can venture out onto the newly built terrace that overlooks the giraffe habitat, purchases two leaves of lettuce for $3, stick their leaves out and watch the massive creatures to come take a nibble. Adults and kids are permitted to feed the giraffes, but the amount of food the giraffes are allowed to consume each day is limited. Once all of the lettuce is sold in a day, there won't be another opportunity to feed the animals until the next day.

The second new program is the Wild Encounters experience. In it, participants are allowed to go behind-the-scenes at the zoo, meet the animal caretakers, learn about the conservation efforts, pet the animals in some instances and feed the animals, too. The Wild Encounters experience is available for African elephants daily at 1:30 p.m. It costs $75 per person. The Komodo dragon experience is available Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 p.m. and costs $35 per guest. The giant panda experience starts April 14 and will be offered daily at 11 a.m. It costs $150 per person.

Learn more about the new offerings and how to visit Zoo Atlanta for free in this video.

http://bcove.me/remiq8g2

Wild Encounter experiences are limited to 10 people.

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