Archives For Los Angeles Zoo

This past weekend I had the privilege of visiting the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens where I had a warm experience among cold blooded animals at the Zoos newest exhibit, the LAIR – Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles.

The Zoo is also home to more than 1,100 animals representing more than 250 different species of which 29 are endangered. In addition, the Zoo’s botanical collection comprises several planted gardens and over 800 different plant species with over 7,400 individual plants. Needless to say, you could spend an entire day exploring the 133 acre lot, just as I did.

After visiting some exhibits and building the suspense, I made my way to the LAIR. The new exhibit houses the Zoo’s dynamic collection of reptiles and amphibians in themed areas with hand-painted murals including Oak Woodland Pond, Bite and Squeeze, Care and Conservation Room, Arroyo Lagarto, Crocodile Swamp and Desert LAIR. Each area transports you to its respective habitat and you see the critters in their natural environment.

The facility encompasses several visually stunning areas that include habitats for various unique and endangered species. LAIR is one of the few reptile and amphibian-focused facilities to open within the past decade in a North American Zoo. The collection includes the Chinese giant salamander, venomous snakes, poison dart frogs, Gila monster, Fly River turtle, radiated tortoise, and much more such as these colorful monitors. Keep a sharp eye out as many of the creatures are camouflaged and hard to find.

Skylights peek through the mural canopy showcasing a dazzling array of snakes in Betty’s Bite and Squeeze room named after Betty White, co-chair of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. The serpent species include the Mangshan viper, a venomous snake from the mountains of China; a fast slender arboreal snake from Africa; and the bushmaster, the largest venomous snake of the Americas. My favorite snake was this white Isla Santa Catalina rattlesnake. Ironicaly, the most distinctive feature of this rattler is the lack of the rattle. The base of the rattle is degenerate, so the rattle segment falls off as it is formed.

Next, we ventured into the Southwest Desert Building which represents the semi-arid desert climate of Mexico, Arizona, and my own backyard – Southern California. The Desert LAIR houses snakes, lizards, turtles, and scorpions. Visions of lightening and the sounds of thunderstorms and monsoons wisp through the exhibit mimicking the weather sporadically encountered in these dry climates. Don’t forget your umbrella!

After exiting the exhibit I passed by the endangered species’ pool to get a glimpse of the intimidating false gharials of Southeast Asia that can reach a length of 15 feet long. This area also offers a good photo opportunity.

By now I had worked up an appetite and ventured over to the giraffe exhibit for lunch. The weather was perfect and the meal satisfying. The overall Zoo experience was exciting and enlightening, I recommend visiting the Zoo and LAIR exhibit before they go extinct.

WHAT: The LAIR
WHEN: Monday – Sunday | 10 am – 5 pm
WHERE: Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens | 5333 Zoo Drive | Los Angeles, CA 90027

CONTACT INFO: (323) 644-4200 or http://www.lazoo.org

DETAILS:

  • Tickets: Adults $16, Children (2-12) $11, Children under 2 free, Senior Citizens (62 and older) $13 and Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) members are free
  • Parking: free

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The LAIR Opens!

March 14, 2012 — 1 Comment

This is not a fictional LAIR; but a living, breathing, crawling LAIR. Step inside for a glimpse into the prehistoric past in this fun and educational exhibit for all ages.

The LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles) is the newest exhibit to open at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. The facility encompasses several visually stunning areas that include habitats for various unique and endangered species. The LAIR is one of the few reptile and amphibian-focused facilities to open within the past decade in a North American zoo.

The unique collection in the LAIR comprises some of the rarest species among North American zoos – some of which are not showcased anywhere else in the world and others that have never been displayed at the Los Angeles Zoo until now. Zoo Director John Lewis comments that “the LAIR is home to fantastic and stunning creatures that were present on Earth well before humans arrived, but now unfortunately depend on us for their survival.” Over 60 species of amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles are represented in this assortment of living jewels. Each habitat is beautifully themed with hand-painted murals of damp and misty forests, rainforest canopies, red rock formations, mountain ranges and vistas, and dry arid deserts to exemplify the natural environments of the many diverse species.

Entrance/Oak Woodland Pond
Upon entering the LAIR’s exhibit area, your are welcomed by the native residents of Oak Woodland Pond. This organically inhabited exhibit is designed specifically to provide a habitat that the local wildlife of Griffith Park and Southern California reside in.

The Desert LAIR
The LAIR’s secondary building represents the semi-arid desert climate of Mexico, Arizona, and our own backyard – Southern California. The Desert LAIR houses snakes, lizards, turtles, and scorpions. Visions of lightning and the sounds of thunderstorms and monsoons wisp through your ears mimicking the weather sporadically encountered in these dry climates.

Crocodile Swamp
When you travel through the Crocodile Swamp you encounter the LAIR’s false gharial exhibit. You can look down into this endangered species’ pool to get a glimpse of the intimidating species of crocodile found in Southeast Asia. False gharials can reach a length of 15 feet long.

Arroyo Lagarto
Arroyo Lagarto literally translates to “lizard stream” in Spanish. This outdoor desert environment features a potpourri of reptile species including California’s official state reptile – the desert tortoise. The neighboring radiated tortoise habitat adds to the showcase of reptile diversity. Just beyond both outdoor habitats lies a garden of tough, distinctive, and typical desert plants ranging from Mexico to Southern California.

Click to see a list of all the critters in the exhibit and get to know the zoo keepers as well. Here are some fun facts about the exhibit:

  • The LAIR encompasses over 60 species of amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles from around the world.
  • There are a total of 49 exhibits; each exhibit closely resembles the natural ecosystem of its inhabitants.
  • The LAIR is comprised of 6 diversely themed areas: the Damp Forest, Betty’s Bite and Squeeze room named after Betty White, co-chair of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, Care and Conservation room, Behind the GlassArroyo Lagarto, and the Desert LAIR.
  • The LAIR’s principal building is 6,289 square feet. The Desert LAIR building is 2,085 square feet.
  • The LAIR is one of a few facilities built in North America within the past decade that specifically focuses on reptiles and amphibians.
  • All murals are hand-painted by different artists and represent the natural habitats of the LAIR’s species including mountainous regions of China, Central America, and Mexico; lush forests of Africa, South America, and the Philippines; river banks of New Zealand, Australia, and Louisiana; deserts of Southern California, Arizona, and Mexico.
  • The outside benches that provide seating for guests are recycled from the pine trees removed during the building’s construction.
  • Many exhibits within the LAIR have UV basking lights and heated floors to provide the proper care for the animals.

See a video on the LAIR here featuring Betty White and Slash.

This facility showcases species in as close to a natural environment as captivity can provide and will give you the opportunity to view many rare and unusual creatures, that most would never have the opportunity to see in person. Visit and tell us your experience.

WHAT: The LAIR
WHEN: Monday – Sunday | 10 am – 5 pm
WHERE: Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens | 5333 Zoo Drive | Los Angeles, CA 90027

CONTACT INFO: (323) 644-4200

Dear reader,

I appreciate your support and feedback. Please respond to this article now by leaving a comment and/or “liking” it. For exciting, up to date events in Los Angeles, subscribe to this blog via email. You can also share this article with friends and family and visit my Facebook and Twitter pages.

Stick with me and I guarantee you’ll never run out of things to do because you’ll always be connected, and your friends and family will admire you.

Thank you!

Mr. Events.