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Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park

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Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park

Elevation:3,200 ft
Coordinates: 32.4351, -104.2755


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The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park, formerly the Living Desert Zoological and Botanical State Park, is a zoo and botanical garden displaying plants and animals of the Chihuahuan Desert in their native habitats. It is located off U.S. Route 285 at the north edge of Carlsbad, New Mexico, at an elevation of 3,200 feet atop the Ocotillo Hills overlooking the city and the Pecos River. It is open every day except Christmas.

The park has been an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) since 2002.

The zoo features more than forty native animal species, including pronghorn, badger, bison, bobcats, mule deer, elk, kit fox, Gila monster, cougar, prairie dogs, reptiles, fourteen species of snakes, and Mexican gray wolves. An aviary contains golden eagles, hawks, owls, a roadrunner, songbirds, and turkeys. The gardens feature a greenhouse and hundreds of cacti and succulents from around the world, including acacia, agave, small barrel cactus, cholla, ocotillo, prickly pear, saguaro, sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri), and yucca.

1.3 miles of self-guided trails lead through sand dunes, arroyos, and pinyon pine/juniper forest.

Facilities

  • Visitor Center

  • Group Shelter

  • Picnic Area

  • Interpretive Exhibits

  • Restrooms

  • Gift shop

Activities

  • Wildlife Viewing

  • Hiking

  • Education Programs

  • Zoo Camp

  • Star Parties

  • Xeriscape Conference

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