ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The ABQ BioPark is now offering up-close tours at the zoo and aquarium, where visitors can get a behind-the-scenes look at training and feeding. It’s called ABQ BioPark Connections. It launched this spring and highlights more than a dozen animals and exhibits. The hope is that it will help bring in more people while also providing an unforgettable experience. 

“All of this work is something we’ve already been doing; now it’s just about bringing it to the forefront and making it possible for our guests to experience it too,” says Allyson Zahm, ABQ BioPark Guest Experience Manager. 

The ABQ BioPark’s new program is giving visitors a chance to get up close and personal with their exhibits, including the hippos, elephants, and capybaras. The BioPark Connections program includes set schedules for the ABQ BioPark’s Zoo, Aquarium, and Botanic Gardens. At the zoo and aquarium, it will include demonstrations, keeper chats, and animal training sessions. The Botanic Gardens will have informational tours with experts. 

“We just wanted to put it on a schedule so that our guests can count on something happening…if they’re walking through this part of the zoo at a certain time of day, they know there’s going to be a person that they can talk to and see something really cool,” says Zahm. 

The aquarium is currently showcasing the river otters and the ocean tank, where people can see experts training some of the animals. The Botanic Gardens is offering tours of their Japanese and Curandera Gardens. Fans of the BioPark say having set schedules will make it easier to plan out their trips.  

“I think it gives kids a better understanding of how not only the zoo works, but how the animals work. And I think it’s just really really awesome,” says Lindsay Vallejo, an ABQ BioPark visitor. 

The BioPark hopes the program will attract more visitors and inspire them to care for the planet. 

“If people fall in love with the animals while they’re here at the BioPark and then go home and take some sort of action, that’s when I’ll know that it’ll be a success,” says Zahm. 

The ABQ BioPark says the schedules at the three locations will change seasonally to offer new experiences. They say when the Asia exhibit opens, they plan on showcasing the tigers. All of the experiences are included with regular admission. To see a calendar detailing the list of upcoming connections, click here.

BioPark Connection Locations

  • Hippos
  • Elephants
  • Sharks
  • Penguins
  • Capybaras
  • Lemurs
  • Raptors
  • Komodo Dragon Walk
  • BUGarium
  • Aquarium divers
  • Ambassador animal meet and greets
  • Curandera Garden
  • Sasebo Japanese Garden