The Story of the Las Vegas Zoo

For years, Las Vegas Zoo was a great escape from bright city lights. Located only 15 minutes away from the Las Vegas Strip, it was more than just an animal display. It focused on protecting desert life and educating visitors about it. This place was a reminder that Vegas is actually situated in the middle of the desert, while sparkling and glittering city center made everyone forget about it. In September 2013, Las Vegas Zoo closed. But maybe not forever.

New Las Vegas Zoo Nevada: rumors

Last year, news about opening a new zoo in Las Vegas Nevada appeared in media. Just like before, it will be a home for 900 animals, a place for animal care, conservation, and education. It will feature 16 exhibitions, including:

  • American
  • Aquatic
  • Primates
  • Big Cats
  • Reptiles
  • Lemur
  • Nevada
  • Children’s Zoo
  • Botanical Garden

The inhabitants will occupy around 100 acres of the territory — doesn’t sound like a place for a quick walk. Visitors will be able to take a ride around Nevada Las Vegas Zoo. Currently, the new Las Vegas Zoo is on the early stage of development.

Some have people already expressed their discontent regarding this idea. Grounding hundreds of animals on a fenced land plot in high-temperature conditions is inhumane. Such conditions cannot replace natural environment for hundreds of animals, no matter how hard people are going to try to comfort them.

Local alternatives

Much time will pass before a new zoo in Las Vegas will be opened again. If you are looking for a place to go with your kids these days or you are just a nature lover, there are several other places you can visit.

Friends of the Wild

This is a non-profit animal center that provided quality habitat to small groups of interactive and educational animals. Here visitors can meet Elvis the Hedgehog, Winchester the Sloth, Penn & Teller the Tenrecs, a tortoise, macaws, and domesticated ferrets. Unlike zoos, kids can play with little animals, learning how to take care of them.

Flamingo Wildlife Habitat

This is one of the most remarkable attractions in Las Vegas. How often do you have to enjoy bird watching in a big city? It reminds a real paradise. Here you will see Chilean flamingos, ducks, sacred ibis, brown pelicans, and swans. All birds are carefully maintained, enjoying the foliage and sparkling waterfalls. This place is open all day, from dawn to dusk. Visitors are allowed to feed animals and take pictures.


This place will make you appreciate oceans even more. It is an adventurous walk through rainforests, deserts, and oceans. You will see exotic birds, tortoises, sea jellies, octopuses, different reptiles and amphibians, stingrays and sharks (and take a selfie with the latter if you want), feed toucans and capybara. There are themed exhibitions that feature interesting material for school trips.

Silverton Aquarium

And now, water attraction in the middle of the desert? It makes Vegas even stranger place than you imagined. Still, it does exist and is recognized as the best free attraction in the city. 117,000 gallons of water became home for thousands of fish, including tropical species, ducks and turtles. Even Mermaids live there! Visitors can see one or two of them occasionally.

The Farm

This animal park is probably the oldest in the Valley and certainly one-of-a-kind place. It is open for visitors on Saturdays and Sundays during the year and almost every day in October. Kids can learn about domestic animals and interact with them. Here you’ll meet chicken, ducks, turkeys, goats, pigs, horses, a mule, a llama, and of course cats. The Farm also becomes a rescue for abandoned animals.

Some Google “Zoo Las Vegas” to find out that it was closed years ago and get very upset. However, there are many alternatives for good old Las Vegas Zoo. Start from visiting some of the places listed above – you won’t regret it.

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