Discovery Zoo

They are adorable, furry, feathered, and sometimes even scaly, but most visitors agree – the residents of the Discovery Zoo are a must-see on every trip to the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. Managed by the Live Animals Department, the Discovery Zoo consists of over one hundred animals and insects, ranging from entertaining river otters and elusive bats and kinkajous, to the ever-popular meerkats.

Want to support our wild Discovery Zoo crew? Make a donation in their honor, send them an item from our Live Animal Amazon Wish List, or even adopt one for the coming year!

Looking to bring our animal ambassadors to your school or other community group? Scroll down to read more about our Animals Alive program options.

Adopt an Animal

PLUS, Add-On Private Programs

Support the Discovery Zoo by adopting one of your favorite zoo residents for the coming year! Show your love for the animals, knowing that your support will provide the care and enrichment needed to keep them safe, happy, and healthy.

With options for both children and grown-ups, that include add-on programs such as a Behind-the-Scenes Tour and a Junior Zookeeper experience, you will know that your support for the animals in the zoo is helping us provide for the animals in our care.

Option 1 (for grown-ups & families): The Behind the Scenes Zoo Tour offers an after-hours look at how we manage animal care, and includes multiple opportunities to interact with the animals in the Discovery Zoo.

Option 2 (for young supporters): Junior Zookeeper participants spend two (2) hours on a Saturday morning with the animals and one of our zookeepers, learning about what goes into the care of our Discovery Zoo residents. This unique program includes hands-on interaction with our furry, feathered and scaly zoo crew, as well as the chance to make an enrichment item for the animals.

Learn more about the Adopt an Animal program and these exclusive experiences.

School & Community Programs

Animals Alive

Let us bring our Education animals to you, so participants can get up close and personal at your school or community gathering. Learn about the behaviors and habitats of some of our adorable, cuddley, creepy, and crawly animals. Programs are conservation-based, and explain how important each of these creatures is to the environment. 

Did you know... Our animal programs are tailored to the age group of participants, with programs ranging from preschool-age children to seniors and other life-long learners! Click the inquiry form below to begin the booking process to tell us more about your group, and our staff will contact you to complete the booking process.

Fees
Daytime: $155 per program; $145 for each additional program (per day)

Preschool & Pre-K Groups: Programs are 30-45 minutes, with a maximum of 30 students per program.
All Other Groups: Programs are 45-60 minutes, with a maximum of 50 participants.
*Note: Classes that exceed these participant numbers will be subject to fees, up to the cost of an additional program.

Mileage Fees
There are NO mileage fees for programs located within 25 miles of the Boonshoft Museum. Locations between 26-40 from the Museum are subject to a $2/mile fee for mileage beyond the initial 25 miles. For the safety and well-being of our animal ambassadors, the Boonshoft Museum will no longer transport them beyond the 40 mile limit. 

Weekend and After-Hours Pricing

  • Weekend daytime programs (Sat-Sun, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) will be assessed an additional $50.
  • Weekday evening programs (Mon-Thurs, beginning at or after 5:00 p.m.) will be assessed an additional $50.
  • Weekend evening programs (Fri-Sun, beginning at or after 5:00 p.m.) will be assessed an additional $100.

Interested in bringing our Animal Ambassadors to a community event or festival?  A two hour session that can accommodate walk-by participants is available for $300.

Because of a generous grant from the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, A KeyBank Trust, the Boonshoft Museum also offers free live animal programs to qualifying schools in Montgomery and Clark County.

For more information about Animals Alive, the qualifications for funded programs, or to book a program, please email Education@boonshoftmuseum.org or call 937.275.7431, ext. 116.

FAQs

Does the Museum accept injured and orphaned wild animals?

Unfortunately rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife is not a service we are able to provide. We do not have the necessary staff, resources or space needed to provide rehabilitation. Feel free to call us though and we can direct you to the nearest wildlife rehabilitator

Does the Museum’s live animal department accept pets into the collection?

We receive many calls throughout the year from folks who are looking for a new home for a pet that they can no longer care for. Unfortunately we usually cannot accept these animals for a variety of reasons. We may be able to help you find an agency that can help with unwanted pets though.

How can I help the animals at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery?

Teens over 14 years of age and adults who are willing to make a minimum commitment of six months after completing our specialized training program are welcome to apply for volunteer positions. In addition, an animal Wish List can be found below. Donations are always welcome.

How can I become a zookeeper?

School is where it all starts. Almost all zoos require college degrees for entry level animal care positions and we are no exception. Our advice is to volunteer as a teenager at a zoo or museum and to pursue a college degree in biology, zoology or a similar degree.

How many animals does the museum have?

It varies year to year, but we generally have just over one hundred animals. This includes not only the mammals, birds and reptiles, but also all the fish and invertebrates.

What does it mean to be AZA accredited?

AZA stands for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The AZA strives to promote the highest possible standards in all areas of the zoological profession. To become an accredited member of AZA requires a very detailed application and inspection process that looks at all aspects of your institution including animal care, education, staff professionalism, veterinary care and much more. There are currently about 200 AZA accredited institutions.

View Calendar

View Boonshoft Blog

Photo of the Week

More

Latest Updates

More Updates

  • Boonshoft Museum

    18 hours ago

    Boonshoft Museum

    @BoonshoftMuseum

    Fort Ancient is hosting a class on tree identification on October 19th from 12-4. Come on out to Oregonia! https://t.co/HyWzttZdEv

  • Boonshoft Museum

    yesterday

    Boonshoft Museum

    @BoonshoftMuseum

    Saturday, October 19th the Archaeological Institute of America’s Dayton Chapter and DSNH will be hosting our annual… https://t.co/ygiPmIjS4c