The Los Angeles Zoo is holding its new “Hippo Encounter” program every Saturday, Sunday and holiday at noon. Groups of up to 15 people can go behind the scenes for approximately 20 minutes and get an close-up view of the zoo’s 15-month old baby hippo Rosie and its mom Mara. Zookeepers will share information about hippos – the third-largest land mammals – and specifics about their daily routines and care. Participants can also watch staff feed the hippos, and they can reach out and feel the animals’ cool, smooth skin. An unforgettable photo opportunity concludes the program. “Hippo Encounter” is for adults and children ages 4 and older who are accompanied by an adult. Tickets are $15 and advanced purchase is recommended by visiting the zoo’s website at www.lazoo.org. The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered. The Los Angeles Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Drive in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. For information, call (323)644-6001, or visit www.lazoo.org.