The North Carolina Zoo welcomes guests with disabilities who use service animals as determined by the American’s with Disabilities Act and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. 

Please be aware of the unique setting of bringing your service animal where live animal collections are held.  Some animals by nature may react strongly to the presence of dogs or any animals outside of their enclosure as a threat.  A few areas on the grounds have animals that may react this way, so for the safety of you, your service animal, our animal collection and other guests these areas are restricted and service animals may not enter.   Service animals may not have any contact with a Zoo animal, for this reason and for your animal’s safety we ask that you use extra caution when entering certain sensitive areas.  

Sensitive Areas:  please use extra caution in these areas:

  • Desert
  • Acacia Station Giraffe deck
  • Kaleidoscope Butterfly garden
  • Live animal presentations
  • Zoo transportation (trams and buses) – we recommend you use the handicap loading area. but it is not required.

Restricted Areas: service animals may not enter:

  • Aviary and any walk-through bird habitats
  • Kid Zone Stream
  • Zoofari tours
  • Air Hike ropes course
  • Behind the scenes tours and animal experiences

Service Animals Must Be Under Control

  • Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices.  In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. 
  • If the Zoo’s animals become visibly upset or agitated by the presence of your service animal, we ask you to move on to another area.  Signs of agitation from our animals may include barking, howling, growling, bumping into their enclosure windows, running around their habitat, and/or erratic movements.

Service animals may be asked to leave Zoo premises if:

  • The animal’s behavior is out of control, which includes, but is not limited to, vicious or aggressive behavior toward other people or animals, excessive barking and/or growling, jumping or running at other people or animals.
  • The animal is not house broken.
  • The animal is not under control of the handler such as being held by a harness, leash or on a tethered line or by verbal or other command.

Thank you for your cooperation as we strive to provide a safe and positive experience for you, your service animal, and our animal collection. If you have any additional questions or concerns during your visit, please let us know.  Guest Services Offices are located near each entrance or you can call 336-879-7308. To report an emergency please call 336-879-7542 to speak with Zoo Rangers.  We hope your visit will be an excellent experience.

NCDHHS- Service Animals

ADA - Service Animals