The concept of animals on Las Vegas Blvd. may sound more like a reference to a group of bachelors getting bottle service at Hakkasan than actual creatures with fur, feathers and flippers, but it is actually possible to see wildlife on the Strip. The city of Las Vegas is surrounded by the vast Mojave Desert, and opportunities to see bighorn sheep, mustangs, burros, deer, coyotes, birds and bunnies are endless if you’re willing to venture to Red Rock Canyon, Mt. Charleston, Lake Mead or Valley of Fire. But what if you want to see animals without straying too far from your hotel? That’s cool, too. Here are four places where you can see wildlife on the Strip:
The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
The Flamingo’s name isn’t solely due to the hotel’s fabulous pink hue. It’s also a wink to the resort’s own flamingo wildlife habitat. Located beneath a canopy of palm trees lies this oasis-like attraction. From dawn to dusk, you can stop by for free and see flamingos, ring teal ducks, ibis, pelicans, swans, ducks, turtles and koi fish. Pelican feedings take place at 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily. And there’s never a bad time to spend some time with the flock of pink-feathered Chilean flamingos.
Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium
Have you ever wanted to walk through a tunnel where sharks hover just inches away from you on the other side of the glass? If this weirdly specific dream is one you’ve had, or if you’re just now realizing it’s the thing that’s been missing from your life, head to Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium. In addition to the aforementioned tunnel of sharks, you can see over 2,000 other animals including sea turtles and rays. Keep an eye out for special exhibits and ask about unique opportunities to feed sharks, turtles and stingrays or even dive with the sharks.
Aquarium at The Mirage
Front desks in Las Vegas tend to offer a little more than just employees standing in front of the hotel’s logo; they’re often spectacles meant to introduce you to the over-the-top resort you’re about to experience. The Mirage’s front desk goes above and beyond by offering something that even non-hotel guests will want to check out: an incredible aquarium inside a 20,000 gallon saltwater tank. Here you’ll see about 450 different fish. Keep an eye out for eels poking out from behind rocks.
Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
Lions and tigers and...dolphins? Oh my! You don’t have to choose between an aquatic or jungle experience at this exhibit; you can have both. Located at the Mirage, Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat features bottlenose dolphins, leopards, white lions and white tigers. This outdoor exhibit makes for a tranquil diversion from the Strip. To dive even deeper (pun intended), call the Mirage’s spa and sign up for a one-hour yoga session at the dolphin’s underwater viewing area.