Having seen wildlife happy and active in their native habitats many times, I'm less interested in visiting zoos these days. Moreover, I lived in San Diego for eight years and visited the world's largest zoo and wildlife parks several times. Even so, I know that a lot of older folks such as my parents, and families with children probably will never have a better opportunity to see the world's creatures than at a zoo. The Living Desert Living Zoo is actually quite an impressive wildlife park with a native like setting for animals from the desert. The park is divided up into African and American zones, and also has a petting coral, and a butterfly garden among other attractions. Given it's relatively large size there's a shuttle service, a likely necessary transport in the heat of summer. This zoo is well endowed by wealthy residents of Palm Desert, and so it is not only has excellent facilities for care of endangered species but contributes to the protection of habitat and wildlife in desert regions worldwide. There's a wide range of animal adoptions available and members have a number of extra benefits besides lower admission. General admission is $11.95 during Fall through Spring, and $8.75 during Summer. Senior and Military personnel are slightly lower. Admission for Children ages 3-12 in season is $7.50 and in summer $4.75. Children under 3 are admitted free of charge. Hours during Sept 1 to June 15 are 9 to 5 daily, except Christmas day when the park is closed. From June 16 to August 30, hours are 8am to 1:30.
This 1,200 acre zoological gardens has many different desert ecosystems that have representative plants, animals and birds. We spent our time in the southwestern desert area which represents the ecosystem of the surrounding area. They also have African Animals, for example, but you can see them at any zoo. They also have a number of areas for children. Open Sept. 1 to June 15 from 9 to 4 and June 16 to August 31 from 8 to 1.