Here is the published description of the Museum and I must say it is all true.
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one place! Exhibits re-create the natural landscape of the Sonoran Desert Region so realistically you find yourself eye-to-eye with mountain lions, prairie dogs, Gila monsters, and more. Within the Museum grounds, you will see more than 300 animal species and 1,200 kinds of plants. There are almost 2 miles of paths traversing 21 acres of beautiful desert.
It would be impossible to talk about each species that I found within the zoo so I will just show a few with their names. Most of them can be found in the more remote surrounding area. The first part of the zoo I entered was the Reptile House where I saw lots of rattle snakes. I really didn’t realize there were so many types.
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
The rattle is hollow, dry, and is made of keratin. Below is a mock up of one on display. You wouldn’t be able to shake it fast enough to imitate a real rattle because the snake vibrates it so fast it becomes a blur but the sound in unforgettable. Every time they shed their skin a segment is added.
Arizona Black Rattlesnake
Sonoran Desert Sidewinder
Arizona Mountain Kingsnake
I expected this to be more colorful but I think this is the pink version.
Sonoran Tiger Salamander is listed as endangered.
I then strolled on down to the mammals where I first saw the Mountain Lion. I was the only one around and it was definately watching me.
I came back by this enclosure later and almost couldn’t find it because its sandy color really does blend into the surroundings.
Bobcat…it looks just like a kitten doesn’t it.
Coti, which was very hard to photograph because they were constantly on the move and much bigger than I expected.
The mission of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert.