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Here at Once in a Wild, we understand that our company is very unique and we often get a lot of questions. Below are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions (FAQ’S) and we hope they help you understand us a little bit better. If you have further questions that are not


Q: How many guests can attend a Once in a Wild event?

A: Every appearance that Once in a Wild conducts is fully customizable. We can often accommodate large crowds, or small gatherings too. There are certain types of animal encounters that work well for large groups, such as a Petting Zoo, or a Meet & Greet. There are also other encounters, such as a Show & Tell, which are more suited to groups of 40 attendants or less. (However, please always feel welcome to inquire with us about your particular event.)

Q: What happens if I need to cancel my encounter?

A: When you book your Once in a Wild event, we will require a 50% deposit to hold your date. (This is 50% of the total cost of your encounter.) If you must reschedule your event, and we can find an available date that works for both you and us, there is no penalty for doing so. However, if you completely cancel, the 50% deposit is nonrefundable. Please make sure to let us know in a timely manner if you need to change any aspect of your event, including changing a date.

Q: How do I book an encounter?

A: Please contact us at 210-445-5240 to speak to our booking staff (call or text.) A 50% deposit of your entire cost will be required to hold your date in our calendar. This 50% is nonrefundable in the event of a cancellation.

Q: How do I book a virtual encounter, and what does this entail?

A: Please contact us at 210-445-5240 to speak to our booking staff (call or text.) Virtual encounters are conducted via Zoom, and you are able to select 5 animal species to meet during your experience. This encounter is very interactive, and typically lasts about an hour. We will schedule & create the Zoom meeting, and send you a link to share with family & friends who are invited. We recommend that ZOOm Room animal encounters include no more than 40 guests.

Q: Can we take photos during our animal encounter?

A: Yes! We definitely allow photos, and highly recommend that you capture as many memories as possible. Every encounter that we conduct will provide time to take photos of and with the animals that attend. Please tag us @onceinawildzoo and use the hashtag #onceinawildzoo on Instagram!

Q: What time do you arrive to an event, and is there extra cost for setup or breakdown?

A: We always try to arrive AT LEAST 30 minutes prior to any animal encounter that we conduct, and depending on the details of your event we may arrive earlier. You will always be notified the day before your event on what to expect, and you will be given a notification or call when we arrive to your location as well. There is no extra cost for setup/breakdown, as that is included in your price. There may however be extra travel cost, depending on your distance from us. (This will always be discussed during the booking process.)

Q: How far can you travel?

A: This is always a case-by-case scenario. Please contact us at 210-445-5240 if you are outside of the San Antonio, and immediate surrounding cities area. Travel fees apply to some locations, and are calculated by distance. We offer virtual animal encounters conducted via Zoom for our clientele outside of our travel zone.

Q: Where are you located?

A: We are located in San Antonio, Texas. We do not offer on-site visits at this time, but instead we bring the animals to your location, and operate by appointment. We can easily travel anywhere inside San Antonio, and its surrounding cities. Each encounter is fully custom to meet your needs.

Q: What happens if the weather is bad on the day of my event?

A:  Every event operates on a case-by-case basis. We always do our very best to accommodate any venue, and we also monitor the weather prior to your event, and keep open communication with you. It is always good to have a “plan B” in the case of inclement weather. Most of our animal encounters can be easily set up indoors. Also, please keep in mind that if it is too hot or cold for the animals outside, we will have to plan to be inside for their safety.

Q: How much does an animal encounter cost?

A: Each encounter type is priced differently and charged per hour. Our pricing for in-person animal encounters starts at $325.00 per hour plus tax. Our pricing for virtual animal encounters starts at $225.00 plus tax. Half hour add-ons are also an option after the first hour is purchased.

Q: Are there any additional fees?

A: We do not charge a fee for breakdown/setup. Travel fees are applied to certain locations. (Please contact us at 210-445-5240 to learn more about where we can travel, and how much it would cost to travel to your exact location.) Additional animals or time added onto your encounter are available at an additional cost.

Q: How do I pay for an encounter?

A: Please contact us at 210-445-5240 to speak to our booking staff (call or text.) A 50% deposit of your entire cost will be required to hold your date in our calendar. This 50% is nonrefundable in the event of a cancellation. We accept credit card, Venmo, or Cash App to reserve. We also can take payments in checks or cash.

Q: Do I get to select the animals for my encounter?

A: Yes! Some types of encounters work well with certain animals (such as our Petting Zoo experience) but you can certainly request the animal species that attend your visit. Animals that ultimately show up are always subject to change, but you will be notified if this occurs. We always do our very best to bring the animals to your encounter that you especially want to meet.

Q: Are animal encounters safe for all ages?

A: We have something for everyone! Once in a Wild animal encounters are catered to the needs of each and every client who books with us. We always keep age-appropriateness and safety in mind when we schedule with you. Certain encounters work better with younger children, and we will always consult with you before we decide what your visit will look like. We pride ourselves in offering safe, informative, and fun animal encounters for all ages (young or old!)

Q: Do I have to have children to book an animal visit?

A: No! Anyone of any age can book or attend a Once in a Wild animal encounter! We have something for everyone, and each animal visit is fully custom.

Q: Where do the animals live, how are the animals cared for, and where do you get your animals?

A: We are a home-based company and all of our animals live on-site with us in San Antonio, Texas. Each animal has their own appropriately sized enclosure, and our animals are fed, cleaned, and cared for daily by us and our staff. Each of our animal ambassadors have their own adoption story, but most of our animals are rescued or rehomed to us. Additionally, when we adopt an animal into our family, we give that animal a safe, forever home for the rest of their lives.

Q: What kind of licenses do you have?

A: We are licensed with USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) & TPW (Texas Parks & Wildlife) to ensure the health and safety of our animals. We are also fully insured for your safety. Please let us know if you need proof of licensing or insurance for your upcoming event.

Q: Are you a nonprofit organization?

A: At this time, we are not a nonprofit company. We currently operate as an LLC. We may make plans in the future to change to a 501c3 nonprofit.

Q: Can I leave a tip for staff during the animal encounter?

A: Yes! We absolutely accept cash tips for good service! We greatly appreciate any and all tips. Donations to our zoo are also accepted in cash, Venmo, or Cash App, and all proceeds go towards animal care.

Q: How else can I help the animals?

A: Donations can be made in cash, or via Venmo or Cash App. We also have an Amazon wish list on our website, and a Patreon account where you can sponsor our animals. We also accept donations in the form of supplies from the public as well. Please contact 210-445-5240 to find out more!

Q: What can I expect from a Show and Tell animal encounter:

A: Show and Tells are formal presentations where animals are handled and brought out to an audience one at a time. The guests will watch and listen to the animal handler conduct a presentation in which they will learn information about each species that attends. We recommend 40 people or less for a Show and Tell. This type of encounter can include 3, 5, or 8 animal species, and can be conducted indoors or outdoors. This type of encounter is best for ages 6 and up.

Q: Do I get to touch the animals?

A: It all depends! Some animals that can attend are not appropriate for touching, but many of them are! During a formal presentation, touching is more limited, but we will always allow for touching opportunities and photos when it is appropriate. Animal and human safety are always our main priority for any visit. We will always consult with you on which animals are more suited for touching or public handling during your booking process.

Q: What can I expect during a Petting Zoo experience?

A: Our Petting Zoo experience is best conducted outdoors in a grassy shaded area. We will bring all of the needed equipment, including our animal pen, & popup tent. The animals that are best to attend a Petting Zoo include our Pekin Ducks, Flemish Giant Rabbit, Red Footed Tortoises, Guinea Pigs, & Bearded Dragon Lizard. All of these animals are touchable by guests. We allow a few people to to enter the animal pen at a time to enjoy their time with the animals. Additionally, staff is always in attendance to ensure the safety of the animals and humans involved. This type of encounter is great for all ages.

Q: What can I expect from a Meet and Greet animal encounter?

A: Meet and Greets are set up with tables and professional staff to handle the animals and ensure their safety. This is a great choice for something more casual, and can be set up indoors or outdoors. Guests are able to approach the animals at their leisure. Animal handlers are always able to talk to attendants and answer questions about the animals as they are interacting. Any animals can attend, but some that work well include our Flemish Giant Rabbit, Red Footed Tortoise, Bearded Dragon, Guinea Pig, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Ball Python, and more! This type of encounter also makes an excellent photo opportunity, and is great for all ages.

Q: What makes a Once in a Wild experience different from other petting zoos?

A: We are a very unique company! Our mission is to inspire others to change the world through live animal experiences. Our animal encounters are appropriate for people of all ages, and we pride ourselves in being extremely accessible for anyone to enjoy. We also always prioritize animal and human safety throughout each of our bookings. And most importantly, Once in a Wild is rooted in education. Whether you book a Show and Tell, Meet and Greet, or Petting Zoo, you’re sure to learn something new about our amazing animal ambassadors from our educated and experienced staff members.

Q: Will the animal encounter be very messy?

A: Most of the time our animal encounters will not create any significant mess. Some animals are more appropriate for outdoors or indoors, but the majority of our animals can be easily brought inside for your visit. We take certain precautions to keep things as contained and mess-free as possible. In the event of any mess, we will do our very best to take care of it and leave your space clean. Additionally, we will consult with you on any concerns you may have regarding mess during your booking process. And we always bring hand sanitizer, and encourage hand washing after guests touch or handle of any of our animals that attend.

Q: Do you visit schools, day cares, and libraries?

A: Absolutely! Once in a Wild can provide fun and educational animal encounters to anyone in the South Texas area. Whether you schedule a Show and Tell, Meet and Greet, or Petting Zoo, it’s sure to be a great experience for anyone involved! We can cater to any age group or curriculum, and we can set up either indoors or outdoors. Please call or text 210-445-5240 to discuss your booking options.

Q: What kind of animals do you have?

A: Once in a Wild provides animal encounters with many different types of animals including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. Some of our most popular animals include our Flemish Giant Rabbit, Green Iguana, Opossum, Boa Constrictor, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Axolotls, Guinea Pigs, Red Foot Tortoises, Hedgehogs, Tarantulas, and many more! We are also fully custom and you get to decide which animals attend your visit. All our animals are well cared for and loved.


Feel free to contact us directly with any questions on concerns you may have.