By Madison Sawyer

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Zoo is filled with animals of all shapes and sizes, but if you want to get to know the animals on a deeper level, guests should take advantage of a free program called “Keeper Chats.”

The “Keeper Chats” happen multiple times each day in front of different animal exhibits and are included free with admission.

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Matt James, with the Dallas Zoo, says the chats give the zookeepers an opportunity to talk directly to guests about the animals, their personalities and conservation.

“Just like your pets at home, (these animals) have their own personalities,” James says. “The animals here are very engaged with our staff and they all have their own quirks and their own personalities that we like telling people about.”

The schedule of “Keeper Chats” is posted each day on the zoo’s website and at the zoo’s entrance.

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“Another big part of our keeper chats are the q and a portion,” James explains. “Because especially the children, they can have really off-the-wall questions that you might not have thought about before.”

A conversation with the Dallas Zoo hopes will spark a deeper connection with the animals, which will help protect them for years to come.

“That starts with us telling our stories and getting people to connect and care for these same species that we care for,” James says.

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The Dallas Zoo suggests visitors read the board to see where the “Keeper Chats” are happening, then plan their visit to each habitat around that schedule so they can get the most out of their time at the zoo.

Madison Sawyer