ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The ABQ Biopark gives visitors an opportunity to get up close to animals from all over the world, but imagine getting even closer.
Now, there’s a chance to stand on the other side of the glass.
“It’s the best job in the world,” said ABQ Biopark Reptile Keeper Landie Romero.
Now, the Biopark is inviting guests to tag along.
“We want people to know about the work we do and how we are saving animals and a lot of that happens behind the scenes,” explained ABQ Biopark Development Manager Allyson Zahm.
For a price, you can tour the park’s reptile house, stand feet from the gorillas, even pet a rhino.
“We get you as close as safely possible,” said Zahm.
Plus, zookeepers walk you through their daily routine.
“We’re not just playing with animals, we’re doing medical procedures, we’re giving them enrichment, we’re doing exhibits, doing exhibit design. There’s a lot that goes into this job,” said Romero.
While the animals are accustomed to people, they don’t often spend time with park guests so, when they do, it’s exciting for them, too.
“Lots of times the animals are getting rewarded during these behind the scenes tours whether it’s through a training session, like the one we saw with the crocs, but some of the animals are just rewarded in a tactile way,” Zahm said.
Zookeepers don’t promise physical contact, especially with animals like gorillas and tigers, but they can guarantee a one-of-a-kind experience.
All of the money raised goes back to the animals you get to see on your tour for things like enrichment, equipment and tools.
Prices range from $50 to $90. For more information, click here.