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Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park facts for kids

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Not to be confused with Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Palm Desert, California.
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Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park
Living desert zoo 2.jpg
View of a trail at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park
Location Eddy, New Mexico, United States
Area 1,500 acres (6.1 km2)
Elevation 3,200 ft (980 m)
Established 1967
Governing body New Mexico State Parks Division

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park, formerly the Living Desert Zoological and Botanical State Park, is a zoo and botanical garden displaying plants and animals of the Chihuahuan Desert in their native habitats. It is located off U.S. Route 285 at the north edge of Carlsbad, New Mexico, at an elevation of 3,200 feet (980 m) atop the Ocotillo Hills overlooking the city and the Pecos River. It is open every day except Christmas.

The park has been an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) since 2002.


The zoo features more than forty native animal species, including pronghorn, badger, bison, bobcats, mule deer, elk, kit fox, Gila monster, cougar, prairie dogs, reptiles, fourteen species of snakes, and Mexican wolves. An aviary contains golden eagles, hawks, owls, a roadrunner, songbirds, and turkeys. The gardens feature a greenhouse and hundreds of cacti and succulents from around the world, including acacia, agave, small barrel cactus, cholla, ocotillo, prickly pear, saguaro, sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri), and yucca.

1.3 miles (2.1 km) of self-guided trails lead through sand dunes, arroyos, and pinyon pine/juniper forest.

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