If you missed out on the Utica Zoo's Red Panda or other animal encounters in 2018, now's your chance to get in on one for 2019.

The Utica Zoo's Animal Encounter packages get you up close and personal with some of the zoo's moist popular animals like the Bactrian Camels, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, California Sea Lions, African Lions, and of course the Red Pandas.

Animal Encounters last approximately 30 minutes and are overseen by a member of the Utica Zoo's Animal Care Staff.

Here's a little more info on each encounter from UticaZoo.org:

African Lions: Go inside the Lions Den for a behind the scenes look at our three African Lions. See how our keepers use specialized training to feed and keep the big cats healthy and happy! No personal cameras are allowed. $1,000 total for up to 5 people and zoo admission is included. ($750 of the $1,000 is a tax-deductible donation). One African Lion encounter is offered per week.

California Sea Lions: Go behind the scenes to visit our California Sea Lions! Feed them their favorite fish and learn to how to give them commands just like our Zoo Keepers! $250 total for up to 5 people and zoo admission is included. Sea Lion encounters are available on Thursdays at 10:30 am.

Bactrian Camels: Get extra close to feed Najla and Furlow their favorite treats! You’ll be impressed by the size of our Bactrian Camels! $75 total for up 5 people, and zoo admission is included.

Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Be on exhibit with our Nigerian Dwarf Goats as you go behind the fence to get up close and personal. $40 total for up to 5 people and zoo admission is included.

Red Pandas: Go on exhibit with our World Famous Red Pandas to hand feed them their favorite treat! $180 total for up to two people age 12+ and zoo admission is included. Only two red panda encounters are offered per week via the Species Survival Plan. Scheduling Red Panda encounters is dependent upon the animal care schedule and the requirements of the Species Survival Plan.

You do have to book your encounter at least one week in advance and a non-refundable deposit is required.

Email encounters@uticazoo.org for availability and booking, and you can add a photo package to your encounter for an additional price.

For more information on animal encounters, visit UticaZoo.org.

More From Big Frog 104