Service Animals

Only working Service Animals, in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), are allowed at the Zoo. Under the ADA, “a service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to work or perform tasks for assisting a person with a disability.” Service dogs are working animals, not pets. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. Pets, comfort animals, emotional support or therapy animals are not permitted at the Zoo.

Upon arrival at the Zoo, please check in with Admissions so a guest services team member can review some logistical items with you. Guest/handler for the service dog is solely responsible for the care and control of their animal*. Thank you for your cooperation to ensure a safe and successful visit for yourself, your service dog, the animals cared for at the Zoo, and other Zoo guests.

*As stipulated by the ADA, Zoo staff may request that a service dog experiencing difficulty or demonstrating problematic behaviors, such as barking or lunging, be removed from the Zoo immediately. We ask that you promptly comply with any such request for the safety and welfare of all.


The Red River Zoo buildings and exhibits are wheelchair-accessible.

The Red River Zoo has free wheelchairs available for checkout from the admissions desk.

Sensory Sensitivity

ND Autism Center Logo

The Red River Zoo has partnered with the North Dakota Autism Center to improve the Zoo’s ability to assist and accomodate guests with sensory processing needs.  The objective is to provide an inclusive and seamless experience for every guest, regardless of age and ability, including those with sensory processing disorders (SPDs.)


  • Staff Assistance
    • Should you need assistance at any time during your visit, Zoo staff can be identified by their blue staff shirts and they can assist you.
  • Sensory Bags
    • Sensory bags containing fidget tools, noise-canceling headphones and other resources, are available for checkout at the Zoo admission desk.
  • Quiet Zones
    • The Zoo has areas that typically have less activity.
      • The Asian Garden
      • The Discovery Barn
      • The Mommy Pod
      • Takin Ridge
  • Headphone Zones
    • The Zoo has areas that are noisy and where guests tend to congregate.
      • The Admissions building
      • The Carousel Pavilion
      • The Zoo Farm Interpretive Center
  • Holiday Seasons
    • The Zoo is decorated from mid-October to early-January for the holidays.  These decorations include lights that twinkle, loud music, and changes to our normal environment.
  • Staff Training
    • Another aspect of our partnership with the North Dakota Autism Center involves annual training for Zoo staff members to increase understanding of SPDs, informing them about the efforts the Red River Zoo is making to better serve the community and to discuss strategies each department can implement to support this initiative.