Virtual Close Encounters

Connect with Live Animals Online

Experience animals like never before with Sunset Zoo'sPinnacle 2020-2021 award winning Virtual Close Encounter programs. These online programs lead participants through an interactive exploration of animals. Ideal for classes and groups looking to enhance their learning; programs are offered on-demand and must be scheduled in advance.

Sunset Zoo's Virtual Close Encounter programs may be scheduled any day of the week; programming offered in English only. Animal availability is dependent on current care and feeding needs.

Virtual Close Encounters - 20-30 minute program | $40 per program
Close Encounters programs bring groups together with a live animal to explore body structure, the functions of specific structures, or to help drive understanding of animal diversity. Each program is individualized based on participation through question answering. Sunset Zoo staff are trained to engage audience through questions to help each participant further develop their observation skills and science understanding. The questioning also challenges participants to construct explanations so they can make sense of what they are experiencing. Thus, each program forms in front of the group and takes shape based on the background knowledge each group brings to the program.

Each program focuses on one live animal. At the time of booking, groups can choose from one of the following:

Close Encounter Animals 
 Ancona DuckBall Python
Bearded DragonDomestic Ferret
Eastern Screech OwlHissing Cockroach
Indian Star TortoiseOrnate Box Turtle
Sulcata TortoiseVirginia Opossum



Additional Information

Booking a Sunset Zoo Virtual Close Encounter Program

Are you with a school district? Check to see if your District is part of the Center for Interactive Learning & Collaboration. Request your program through the CILC website. If you are not part of the CILC network, contact the Zoo directly to schedule your program by calling 785-587-2737 or email.

Virtual Programs & Technology Requirements

Sunset Zoo's virtual programs provide an enhanced educational experience via the Internet. Unlike watching a video online, audience members can interact in real-time with the presenter creating a rich learning environment similar to an in-person experience. Sunset Zoo uses Zoom to host virtual programs.  Groups may provide a link if that works better, or groups need to connect using a different platform, like Microsoft Teams and Skype.