Las Vegas is one of the most exciting cities in the United States to visit. This is shown by the incredible volume of travelers that head there each and every year. The city really does have it all when it comes to the entertainment options that it can offer to visitors from outside the area. The bulk of visitors coming to Las Vegas are seeking out the flashy entertainment offered by the many hotel and casino properties on the famous Las Vegas Strip. The glitzy shows and exciting gambling opportunities are very popular with the vast majority of Las Vegas tourists. There are many other attractions in and around the city thought hat get some attention too. There are a number of great museums located in Las Vegas. The city is very near to some very popular sources for outdoor recreation. The city also prides itself on having some of the finest golf courses found in the region.
Many people don’t think about it at first, but Las Vegas is also home to a great many attractions that animal lovers would find highly interesting. Animal lovers come in all shapes and forms and with a variety of interests. From domesticated and friendly animals to wild animals in their natural habitat or held on display, there are a number of opportunities in Las Vegas to view and experience a variety of different animals, here is a look at the best attraction in the city for animal lovers.
Tour The Grand Canyon
Most people associate the Grand Canyon with Arizona and not Las Vegas. While it is true that it is not immediately located near Las Vegas, one of the most popular tours that visitors to Las Vegas can take is a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. The flight leaves Las Vegas and flies down into the Grand Canyon. Many tours even land and offer their visitors the chance to explore a bit of the floor of the canyon and possibly even have a picnic style meal there. This is a great chance to see wildlife in their natural habitat as the canyon is home to a number of different animals including the Bald Eagle, River Otters, Beavers, Antelope Squirrels, Bighorn Sheep, Coyotes, Spotted Skunks, Bobcats, Raccoons, Gray Foxes, Mountain Lions, plus many different types of birds, snakes, and lizards.
The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay
Housed inside the exciting Mandalay Bay Casino is their popular Shark Reef attraction. This is a popular way for those visiting the city to take a break from the casinos and activities on the strip and have a nice relaxed learning experience walking amongst tanks filled with more than 2,000 different kinds of animals. The reef features such wild animals as sharks, sawfish, sea turtles, piranha, giant rays, and more. A very interesting sight to see and a wonderful attraction conveniently located in one of the main casinos right on the Las Vegas Strip.
MGM Grand Lion Habitat
One of the many fabulous animal lover friendly attractions in Las Vegas, and another one located right on the Las Vegas Strip, is the MGM Grand Lion Habitat. This habitat with its many resident lions allows a great look at what lions are like in real life. You can see them eat, play, become aggressive, and yes even sleep (they do that a lot), as well as interact with their keepers. The highlight of the habitat is the enclosed transparent tunnel that leads visitors inside the habitat that is setup in much the same way that some newer aquariums have a walk-through tunnel to allow being totally immersed in a particular habitat. A very worthwhile animal friendly experience.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Located just outside of the city of Las Vegas is the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. This area has been left largely undeveloped except for a thirteen mile scenic loop drive that leads visitors through a small portion of it and allows access to a number of areas where both wildlife and natural geological formations can be observed. There is also a visitors center that tells the tale of this area and points out what types of things travelers should be on the lookout for. Some of the animals that can be seen in this area include a wide variety of snakes and lizards, rabbits, ground squirrels, and the desert tortoise. One of the most looked for, and not uncommon to see, animals in the protected area are the wild burros which are a very interesting sight to see.
Located off the Las Vegas Strip and offering a little more low key experience is the Silverton Aquarium which is a 117,000 gallon salt water aquarium located inside the Silverton Casino Lodge. This is not only a great place to relax and view the marine life that calls the aquarium home, but also view underwater performances and feedings. Some of the wildlife that can be seen include tropical fish, rays, sharks, and more.
Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
One of the most calm and relaxing attractions in the incredible exciting city of Las Vegas can be found right on the grounds of the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat offers visitors the chance to get away from the lights and bells of the casino and enjoy what is described by many as an oasis in the desert. There are streams, waterfalls, fish, and of course flamingos that can all be viewed and enjoyed by animal lovers as well as other visitors to Las Vegas trying to escape the overcrowded areas of the city. The lush setting is something that visitors would expect to see in a more tropical location, certainly not the arid desert of Nevada.
Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
One of the most popular and famous animal lover attractions in all of Las Vegas has got to be Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. Started by the famous magicians Siegfried & Roy and housed at the beautiful Mirage Resort Casino, the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat was established as a way to both educate people on the plight that some animals face as well as offer these animals a safe and protected place to call their home.
Some of the animals viewable in the Secret Garden portion of the facility include Black Panthers, Golden Tigers, Leopards, Lions, Snow Leopards, White Lions, and the magician pair’s famous White Tigers. The Dolphin Habitat portion of the facility is home to a two and a half million gallon aquarium that a number of Bottlenose Dolphins call home. The dolphins are shown interacting with each other as they would in the wild. This is possibly the best stop in Las Vegas for any serious animal lover visiting there.
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While Las Vegas is known first and foremost as a home to exciting and wild entertainment options, it is also a city built around the concept of trying to find something for everyone to do. This is one of the reasons it attracts so many people to it each and every year. One group that is catered to in Las Vegas is animal lovers and there are more than enough potential attractions for them to see to interest and excite them during their stay in the city. The city and surrounding area offers plenty of chances to see interesting and exotic animals, some native to the area and some extremely out of place in the Nevada desert, both in their natural habitats as well as on display in zoo and aquarium facilities. Animal lovers need not fear coming to Las Vegas and not having something to do, from seeing the famous White Tigers to viewing wild burros roaming the desert floor, Las Vegas and the surrounding area has plenty to offer them, with much of it being something that cannot be seen elsewhere.