Best Zoos Palm Desert
Credit: Sal Cavazos

5 Fun Facts We Bet You Didn’t Know About The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert

Test Your Knowledge on One of the Best Zoos in California!

Tucked neatly within the heart of one of California’s most pristine and prestigious desert oases, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is one of the biggest attractions in the entire Palm Desert region. With over 600 incredible and unique desert animals to interact with–as well as acres of sweeping gardens and exhibits to explore—it’s easy to see why so many people gather each year to interact with the zoo’s incredible exhibits. As the zoo continues to expand and add new exhibits and experiences, it’s easy to lose track of everything it has to offer. Read on to see our picks for the five things we bet you didn’t know about The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.


You Can Interact With Rhinos

Best Zoos Palm Desert - The Living Desert Zoo

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For those seeking to get up close and personal with one of Africa’s most iconic animals, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens’ new Rhino Encounter Experience is the attraction for you. With this unique experience, guests have the opportunity to go behind the scenes and meet one of the two black rhinos who call this zoo home. Guests will also be given the opportunity to feed, brush or interact with one of these rhinos as well as learn about the care they receive, their unique biology, diet and lifestyle. Visitors can also stick around and watch a rhino training session to see how these majestic animals interact with the staff behind the scenes.


You Can Take a Behind-the-Scenes Tour

If you’re looking for an inside look at the tremendous work being done by the The Living Desert’s crew to carefully care for each of the 600+ animals, check out the This Is How We Zoo It Tour. This experience features a quick shuttle-ride tour of several of the animal care facilities. Along the way, guests will also get a chance to see first-hand all the incredible work being done by the zoo to help preserve and protect the animals in and around their facilities as well as help restore the habitats they came from.



The Living Desert Zoo Is All About Conservation

Best Zoos Palm Desert - The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
Credit: Visit Greater Palm Springs

What many visitors don’t know about The Living Desert Zoo is all the hard work they put into large-scale conservation efforts around the world. Over the years, these efforts have included participating in population-recovery efforts for the Peninsular Pronghorn in Baja California, developing and aiding anti-poaching efforts in South Africa and providing resources to other conservation organizations around the world. The zoo is also committed to contributing to ongoing research projects and has partnered with renowned scientists, such as U.S. Geological Survey herpetologist Jeff Lovich, and notable organizations like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. All in all, The Living Desert lives and breathes its mission: desert conservation.



The Zoo Hosts a Spring Lantern Festival Every Year

In addition to their wonderful, year-round exhibits, the zoo also hosts a wonderful, wide variety of seasonal events and specials. From new decor and limited-time exhibits to special discounts and experiences, The Living Desert is always keeping it fresh and exciting. One of our favorite events is their annual Glow in the Park celebration. This extravagant spring event sees the park transformed into a glowing display that features everything from a large scale illuminated animal lanterns to interactive light displays



There Are Hiking Trails Galore

While many visitors come to see the wide variety of animals, flora and fauna the park has to offer, what many don’t know is that with every admission to the zoo, guests also receive access to the park’s sprawling nature preserve—the perfect place to hike around and see the rugged desert in all its glory. With three distinct trails to explore, over 1,000 feet of elevation to gain and unbeatable views of the gorgeous surrounding desert landscape, this is just one of the features that sets this zoo apart from the others. So lace up those hiking shoes and get some steps in!


The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
47900 Portola Ave
Palm Desert, CA 92260

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