Thursday, May 9, 2013

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens


Just up the road from our campsite at Brantley Lake State Park is another New Mexico State Park, the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.  It had been recommended to us by several people, including a Park Ranger we ran into at the grocery store, so we decided to check it out one afternoon.   Chihuahuan Desert








The park showcases the plants and animals found in the Chihuahuan Desert, including various forms of cactii.


Cow Tongue Cactus



Javelina’s are common in the desert, but we had never seen one in the wild, other than the one that ran across the road in front of Nicolas while he was driving the RV.  Here at the Zoo, we met Lena, a rescued javelina.

Lena, the javalina

Another animal frequently found in the desert, which proved to be elusive with us, was the roadrunner . . . and we almost missed this one, too!

Beep, Beep . . . Roadrunner

Nicolas spotted it as it ran across the path, and we got a quick picture before it flew up into a tree.


Other birds in the Aviary included a hawk, an owl and a pair of parrots.




We’ve gotten spoiled by most zoos now not having the animals in cages, but rather in enclosures that you can see better through, so it was hard to get good pictures here.




It was a cool, windy day when we were there, and we thought that might make the animals more active.  These are desert animals, though, so I guess they don’t like the cold!  Most of the snakes and other reptiles were hiding, except for this rattlesnake,

Yellow Rattlesnake

as well as the big cats, and we barely got a glimpse of Maggie, the brown bear.   Maggie, the brown bear








The prairie dogs weren’t afraid of the chilly temperatures, though, and we were able to see them out in their yard.

Prairie Dog

Some of the bigger animals must be able to tolerate the cold more, although they still weren’t very active . . .






















New Mexico Wolves









Eventually, even Maggie came out of hiding.

Maggie out of her cave

Our last stop was the greenhouse, where there was supposed to be a geocache, but we forgot to bring the clue in with us, so we didn’t find it!  We did see some really cool cactii, though!



I don’t remember the name of this one, but I love the purple flowers!



There was also a huge hibiscus tree, with beautiful red flowers blooming!


The Living Desert Zoo & Garden in Carlsbad is a nice little state park, and from the looks of it, they’ve got quite a bit of expansion in the works – lots of construction going on while we were there.  At just $5/person, it’s definitely worth a visit!

1 comment:

  1. Wow what a great place. Your flower photos were really beautiful and love the Roadrunner!!


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