Tucson, Arizona – The living desert

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is very well done, but zoos always cause mixed feelings in us. This is what the museum in reality is: a mixture of a botanical garden with 1200 desert plants and a zoo with 300 living animals in their natural surrounding. Plus there are two aviaries, beautiful mineral and other exhibitions. Even on a Monday morning the museum is jam-packed. Of course, the number of plants is incredible, but you can see most of them while hiking – without paying 14.50 $ entrance fee per person. You can get somewhat closer than usual to some of the animal species. But mountain lion and ocelot have very limited territories as the Mexican wolves have. I am kind of depressed to see that. At least the javelinas and the coatmundis seem to be happy. The zoo-keepers organise shows with their charges. There is a raptor free-flight, for instance. Very interesting, but also very well visited.

The Desert Museum gets across its message to arouse understanding for the desert ecosystem. A visit is ideal for children, people who like zoos, and those who don’t have time or don’t want to lengthily hike the desert. The others might think about sparing the high although appropriate entrance fee.

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