Atlantans are walking on the wild side this spring, enjoying new opportunities for up-close encounters with dolphins, otters, pandas, Komodo dragons and other exotic creatures great and small.
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The Dolphin Encounter at the Georgia Aquarium is open to patrons 7 years and older; those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are $59.95. Admission to the Dolphin Encounter does not include general admission access to the Aquarium or to the AT&T Dolphin Tales show. Encounters with sea otters and beluga whales and opportunities to swim and dive with the whale sharks are also available. Aquarium hours: 10-5 p.m. Sunday-Friday, 9-6 p.m. Saturday. Admission to the aquarium: $24.95-$29.95. The Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker St. N.W., Atlanta, 404-581-4000.
At Zoo Atlanta visitors can encounter a Komodo dragon, a lemur, an African elephant, a giant panda and an Aldabra tortoise. Prices range from $35 to $150 per participant, and do not include admission to the zoo. Zoo admission, $16.99-$21.99; zoo hours: 9:30-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Zoo Atlanta, 800 Cherokee Ave., Atlanta, 404-624-5600.