2021 Sloth Encounter Update:
We are hopeful that we will be able to offer Sloth Encounters during Southwick’s Zoo’s 2021 season. Sloths are highly temperature sensitive, so they remain indoors and off exhibit until the daytime and nighttime temperatures are consistently warm enough to move them outdoors. 2021 Sloth Encounters will not be available until June at the earliest, depending on the weather. We will post all updated information, including encounter dates and the registration link, on this page, so please check back here for the most up-to-date information.
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Note: Sorry, gift certificates are not available for sloth encounters. Please remember that sloth encounters cannot be reserved or purchased before registration opens for the season, and we cannot take special requests for dates and times. There is not a wait list for Sloth Encounters.
Hang out with a two-toed sloth with our new sloth encounters at Southwick’s Zoo! These encounters provide zoo visitors with the opportunity to meet one of the sloths up close. Half of proceeds from sloth encounters will be donated to the Sloth Institute, and the remaining proceeds will help support our educational programming at Southwick’s Zoo.
Each encounter session will last approximately 20 minutes. Participants will meet zoo staff in front of the upper sloth habitat (located next to the chimps and near the EARTH Discovery Center). Encounters begin with a brief talk focusing on sloth biology, conservation, and the sloths living at the zoo. Participants will enter the enclosure and feed Jenny a few pieces of her breakfast. Please be aware that, due to health concerns, participants will not be able to touch the sloths. Participants will NOT be able to hold the sloths.
*Spots are VERY limited and must be reserved online in advance. Zoo passes, coupons, discounts, or other offers cannot be applied to the price of sloth encounters. Gift certificates are not available for sloth encounters.
Non-member: $59 (+ processing fee)
EARTH Ltd. Member: $49 (+ processing fee)
Note to members: To receive your member discount, click “enter promotional code” when you register. Your code is the first 5 letters of your last name + the first 2 letters of your first name. Example: John Smith’s code would be SMITHJO. If your last name is fewer than 5 letters, just use your full last name + the first 2 letters of your first name, Jane Doe’s code would be DOEJA.
Note: Pricing for sloth encounters DOES NOT include admission to the zoo. Admission is required and must be purchased separately online. Sloth Encounters take place at 10:30 am, so you must select 10:00 am (or 9:45 am if making a Previously Purchased Ticket Reservation) as your entry time slot when purchasing zoo admission or making a reservation if you have already purchased passes. Zoo admission cannot be purchase at the entrance at this time. Click here for current visitor guidelines.
Rules & Guidelines
- All participants and guests MUST wear their masks, covering face and mouth, at ALL times. If masks are removed or being worn improperly, the staff running the encounter may choose to end early if anyone is refusing to wear their mask. This includes taking photos with the sloths – no mask removal allowed.
All participants will have their hands sanitized prior to entering the encounter area.
Participants and guests are solely responsible for any photos they wish to take. Staff is unable to handle visitor phones or cameras to take pictures.
- Participants are responsible for reading mass.gov travel guidelines and following the travel ban rules.
- Participants will not be allowed to touch or hold the sloths.
- All Sloth Encounter participants must be at least 10 years of age.
- Only registered and paid sloth encounter participants are allowed into the sloth enclosure. Non-registered family and friends visiting the zoo are welcome to watch and take pictures from outside of the habitat however!
- Each encounter session has a maximum of 2 people.
Encounter time is 10:30 am, be on time. Tickets to the zoo must be purchased for the 10:00 am (or 9:45 am if making a Previously Purchased Ticket Reservation) time slot. Admission ticket price is not included with the encounter.
- We suggest wearing comfortable closed-toe shoes. We DO NOT recommend wearing flip flops or sandals.
- Sloth encounters take place rain or shine.
- Please be aware that, due to the limited availability, sloth encounters cannot be rescheduled. If participants do not show up or are more than 10 minutes late to their scheduled encounter, the encounter cannot be refunded or rescheduled. Refunds are not available for Sloth Encounters.
- Zoo passes, gift cards, coupons, discounts, or other offers cannot be applied to the price of sloth encounters.
- We currently cannot take requests for custom dates/times. The only dates available are those listed on the registration page. Please note that sloth encounters cannot be reserved or purchased before registration opens for the season.
- Please be aware that there is not a wait list for sloth encounters.
- Due to the very limited availability, guests can only reserve one sloth encounter date.
Located at Southwick’s Zoo
2 Southwick’s Street
Mendon, MA 01756