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Las Vegas Zoo
The Las Vegas Zoo, also known as the Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park, is home to over 150 species of plants and animals, and is the only zoo in the famous city of sin. It’s also the only zoo open year-round in the state of Nevada.
History of the Las Vegas Zoo
The Las Vegas Zoo is managed by the Nevada Zoological Foundation, a non-profit organization. The park covers three acres of land, with a focus on desert life and habitat protection. However, lately the zoo has seen troubled times, with no funding from the city or state. Rumor has it many of the more exotic animals, such as lions and peacocks, are from old Las Vegas acts come to retire. The zoo struggles against competing acts on the Strip.
The Plants & Animals & Other Exhibits
The zoo hosts a variety of plants and animals. It’s perhaps most famous for being the last home of the Barbary Apes in the United States. The largest collection of swamp wallabies in North America is also located here.
Other animals include chimpanzees, emus, snakes, goats, wallabies, otters, exotic reptiles, alligators, and fossas, which are the largest predator on Madagascar. Endangered cats such as the African lion, cougar, Turkmenistan caracal, and Eurasian lynx are also on site. Birds such as ostriches, parrots, flamingos, eagles, peacocks, the sun conure, the jenday conure, military macase, and the Aru Islands sulfur-crested cockatoo are a few of the more colorful zoo inhabitants.
Rare botanical plants such as endangered cycads and bamboos can also be found on the premises. A gem exhibit sponsored by the Las Vegas Gem Club is also available. Visitors may look at gemstones or some of the fossils that date back over 250 million years ago.
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., there are several options to keep yourself entertained while visiting the Las Vegas Zoo. If walking around the animal exhibits isn’t enough, the zoo offers several activities to keep young minds busy. There’s the Zoo Scavenger Hunt game, where participants are asked to find various plants and animals to match a set of clues.
Or try a Listening Walk that asks children to take not of the sounds of their environment. For slightly older children, there’s the “Off to the Zoo and What Can You Find?” activity, a list of questions that challenges the child to find zoo animals that match more scientific descriptions.
Kids can also enjoy a petting zoo, on site, where they can feed goats, chickens, roosters, monkeys, peacocks, wallabies, and ostriches.
For families or large groups with young children, consider hiring a Chaperone Guide, someone who can watch over younger children and make sure they are enjoying the experience in a safe way, while you are able to take in the full zoo experience, worry-free.
Admission is around $10 for adults, though there are discounts for children under 12 and seniors 62 years and over. Children under 2 are free. Check the website for admission coupons for discounts off your ticket. Group rates are available for groups of 15 and larger.
Located about 15 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, the zoo is easily accessible by car. Take I-15 North or U.S. 95 North and take the Rancho Drive North exit. Parking is free on the street or in a private lot close by.