As you walk through the zoo, you'll read about the animal's habitat, their diet and if they are endangered.
Cockatoos get excited over musical sounds and high-pitched noises. You might even see them dance to cell phone ring tones. They also love rain and squeal with excitement when a storm hits.
Macaws, the largest bird in the parrot family, can live past 50 years old. These birds form lifelong monogamous relationships for breeding, sharing food and grooming.
A chimpanzee is as strong as nine men.
Not only are ostriches the tallest birds, they also have the largest eye of any land animal.
Mountain lions can lunge up to 30 feet forward and up to 18 feet high onto their victim's back, killing by a single bite.
Flamingos are very shy birds.
With Vegas' dry climate and hot temperatures, all we're really missing in this town is a safari experience. A visit to the Las Vegas Zoological - Botanical Park comes close.
The three-acre property appears small from the entrance, but believe us when we say you're in for a treat. Not only will you see a variety of animals from around the world, you'll be transferred from the desert to a savanna-like atmosphere in just seconds.
Once you enter the gate, the adventure begins with a petting zoo exhibit. Kids especially love this, as the goats are friendly and approachable. They get even friendlier when you purchase nibbles from the dispensers and hand feed them. One handful is only a quarter, but we bet you're going to want to keep feeding them!
To the right of the petting zoo, come face-to-face with ostriches. These birds are more than nine feet tall and make basketball player Shaquille O'Neal look petite. See how tall (or short) you measure next to them. Just behind the ostriches are an array of colorful parrots and the endangered cockatoos. You might even hear one of the macaws say "Hello!" to you.
When you turn around back toward the petting zoo, head right and you'll find arrows that point to more animals. A fun one to start with is MG, the African lion. Short for Maniac Girl, this lioness appears to be far from that. There's a good chance she'll plop right down across from you (behind her fenced area) and sit there long enough for picture-taking. You can also catch her playing with her toys, like a barrel for example. Oftentimes, lions mind their business and pay no mind to their viewers, so a visit with MG is highly rewarding.
If you're a cat person and loved hanging out with MG, you'll also get to see a Eurasian lynx named Niya. To cool off during hot summer days, the zookeepers feed him frozen meat popsicles. And since he likes to play with a piñata, they fill it with chicken pieces, meatballs and rats. It may not sound appetizing to us, but to Niya these are wholesome treats!
Right next to Niya is Katz, a mountain lion. Like Niya, Katz also likes to play with food piñatas. In addition to meatballs, his piñatas include feathers and hard-boiled eggs.
As you walk further down, you might hear a loud and startling yelp. Don't worry -- these are just peacocks. You'll find that the peacocks walk around freely and explore everything, just like you. For a second, they'll seem like your tour guides since they know the area so well. In this back section of the zoo, you'll see tons of exotic birds including cockatiels, parakeets, a raven, a king vulture as well as a pond filled with koi fish.
If you need to rest, there are plenty of benches and picnic tables scattered throughout the attraction. In addition, the ample shading from the trees makes it bearable, even during the summer months. If you purchase a snack at the zoo, all sales go directly to the care and feeding of the animals.
Other animals at the zoo include wallabies, emus, fossas, chimpanzees and the endangered Barbary apes. Make sure to stop by the gift shop, located in the front where you purchased your ticket. The gift shop includes stuffed animals, animal-printed disposable cameras, purses and toys. On your way out, take a look at the bright pink Chilean flamingos.
The zoo is located in the west side of town, near Texas Station. Fun for all ages, you can spend about one or two hours here.
-- Review by Jeannie Garcia