The Living Desert in Palm Springs, California, seeks to preserve, conserve, and interpret the various deserts of the world. With its imporessive assortment of desert flora and fauna, Living Zoo visitors can learn about the world’s deserts all in one place.
The Living Zoo was founded in 1970 by forward-thinking trustees at the Palm Springs Desert Museum who predicted the impact that development of their town was having and would continue to have on their local ecosystem. This led to the building of a nature trail and preserve in Palm Desert. Four decades later, the zoo continues to focus on preserving the surrounding desert as well as sharing it with visitors. Additionally, the zoo teaches visitors about the deserts of the world with exhibits and displays that bring them to life.
The following are among the zoo’s highlights:
North American Desert
This exhibit features the beauty and wonder of flora and fauna that flourish in the four North American deserts. It features small animals such bats, scorpions, mice, lizards, snakes, and more, all of which are mainly active at night due to the intense daytime heat. See the multitude of birds that call the desert home, including hawks, eagles, vultures, falcons, quail, doves, orioles, and roadrunners. Mammals such as bobcats, mountain lions, wolves, coyotes, and badgers are featured as well. And then there’s the rare desert bighorn and the endangered Peninsular Pronghorn.
Botanical gardens such as the Yucca Garden represent the great diversity of flora found throughout the North American deserts. There’s also the Living Desert’s colorful Sage Garden, home to over 35 different colorful Lamiaceae species and the hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees that love them.
Africa – home to deserts such as Sahara, Namib, and Kalahari – features some of the most dramatic, hostile deserts in the world.
Catch a glimpse of this arid splendor and the animal and gardens that call these deserts home at the Living Zoo. The Living Desert, with one of the best zoo breeding colonies found in the world, is host to two of the most endangered animals in the world, the slender-horned gazelle and the addax, a nearly extinct African antelope. The Living Desert has one of the best zoo-based breeding colonies in the world. Recently, addax born at the zoo were reintroduced to an area at the edge of the Sahara, in hopes of boosting the population in the wild.
Other African animals showcased at The Living Desert include hornbills, meerkats, warthogs, sand cat, foxes, giraffes, ostriches, endangered cheetahs, gazelles, and rare Grevy’s Zebras. Don’t forget about exotic African plants, too, from 30 kinds of acacia to strange kokerbooms.
The Ant Lab
Ant colonies are usually hidden, but The Living Desert exposes ant life at the new Ant Lab! In this unique and fascinating exhibit, visitors can watch 10,000 ants build tunnels, catch prey, do housekeeping, and care for their eggs, larvae and pupae.
Learn about ant social life and the ants’ role in the keeping the desert soil in constant good condition. The Ant Lab is located at the NEW Discovery Center and is open during regular park hours.
The Miriam U. Hoover Discovery Center
The Discovery Center is delightfully indoors, a respite from the heat where guests, especially children, discover interactively how sun, wind, sand, and just a little water join together to make such an amazing desert. Highlights include:
- A giant ground sloth skeleton mounted in a recessed cavern
- Replica bones and skulls of ancient animals displayed on a fossil wall
- A carpeted “dune” where children can crawl, roll, and play
- A crafts counter for kids with rubbing plates, paper, and colored pencils
- Interactive areas where visitors discover the four elements shaping the desert
- An old seismograph and computer display that provide a real-time look at tremors in the area
For more information on ticketing, directions, zoo hours, and more, please visit http://www.livingdesert.org/.
All these and more awaits your kids in Palm Springs. As a family-friendly city, this desert city offers a wide range of theme parks & tourist spots perfect for family weekend getaways. Call Palm Springs Realtor, Claudine Messika @ (760) 799 5308 to know more about Palm Springs Real Estate & latest listings.
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