Living Desert

Living Desert State Park is a zoo with desert animals and vegetation. Overlooking the Pecos River Valley, this fascinating place exhibits the Chihuahuan Desert region’s varied plant and animal life.

The self guided tour is a 2 km round trip through a setting of plant and animal habitats.
It’s a pleasant hike and a great way to experience the flora and fauna of the Chihuahuan Desert.
The zoo features more than forty native animal species, including golden eagles, hawks, owls, a roadrunner, songbirds, and turkeys.
The roadrunner stops running for us and starts a staring contest.
These cacti stare too o.O
We’re positively surprised by the choice of different animals since the park doesn’t actively put them there, most inmates have been injured in the wild, rescued and will eventually be set free again, like this redtailed hawk.
The common black hawk.
Selenite – This is the pure, crystalline form of gypsum rock. The blazing white dunes of White Sands near Alamogordo are formed from selenite eroded by wind. Gypsum may also appear als large reddish or whitish blocks in exposed hillsides or depressions. Gypsum deposits create salty, crusty soil that makes it difficult for plants to grow. Some plants, such as gyp ringstem, have adapted so well to gypsum soils that they actually require it to survive, a condition called gypsophily.
Sleepy rattlesnake. This one’s in the reptile house, but there are warning signs when you enter the property that you need to watch your steps because of them. That’s one hell of a reason to stay on the trail!
This guy is a bit smaller but we’re still relieved they’re behind glass.
The Park is arranged in Chihuahuan Desert life zones that take you from the dry, windblown sand of the sandhills, through the life-giving Arroyo, to the populated Pinon Juniper Zone, and finally to the Mountain Canyons.
This female black bear was rescued 2005 from a bad situation that her mother and sibling didn’t survive. Maggie is known as the painting bear as she paints with watercolors. The zoo sells those paintings online and at the visitor’s center. The zoo also invites the public to celebrate Maggie’s birthday every year on January 19th.
My spiky friends.
Aargh! Who let the guinea pigs out?
But are they? No! Neither guineas nor let out. Their tunnels do not breach the enclosure but are just underground living rooms.
Even though these prairie dogs do have more resemblance to our little guinea guys than to dogs.
These two are not happy about the lack of space in their enclosure.
Pacing up and down the small enclosure. Hope they will go back into the wild soon!
Do you see my family in the middle of the picture? That’s how big this cactus is! They will need to build a bigger glass house for this one!


Donations in form of Darbo Preiselbeer Kompott are greatly appreciated ;)