I purchased the tickets online for $75 each, not including the mandatory entrance
fee, which cost $45. At this point, I wished I had found coupons. The catch was, I had to know exactly which day in our four day vacation we would be going. Fingers crossed nothing would come up that day, I decided to take a risk.
Main zoo review: The zoo is very large and beautiful. Expect a lot of walking. The animals were located all over the paths and you can take the included tram which takes riders to the out of the way exhibits. We went on a great day which was off season. Limited number of people. I rate this "zoo" high because it feels less like a zoo and more like a habitat.
Behind the scene review: I loved this experience. Our tour guide Aaron was knowledgeable and helped the kids find the Bingo items that were on their list. (We made bingo cards for them to find items like "Find an animal with hoofs, Find a predator, Locate an animal that is from Africa). Aaron was engaging and made our tour both educational and fun. We even got a very close encounter with the tigers that were being fed.
Overall summary: A great day and great zoo! One of the best walking things we saw was the animal handlers in a few areas that were set up around the park. They talked abut the animals while having them in an open enclosure. I loved this! We saw a Big-Eared Fox and a Black Milk Snake very close up. As for the add-on tours, I really do not think you have to buy one of them enjoy the park, but it was perfect for us.
* Just a side note, the small bottled waters were almost $4.00. Yes, that is very high but they let us know it was not-for-profit and all monies went back to the animals. That made it a bit less of a sting.