Fun Facts About Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary


  1. HPZS has over 200 animals on grounds.
  2. Our official name is Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary. This is because we are a sanctuary, meaning all of our animals have been rescued from illegal ownership, injured in the wild, surplus from other zoos, or come from one of many other sources.
  3. The largest animal at HPZS is Shash, the American Black Bear, weighting around 450 lbs.
  4. The smallest animal at HPZS is a spiderling, about the size of a pencil eraser.
  5. All continents have animal representation at HPZS except Antarctica.
  6. HPZS visitors will not only see captive animals upon a visit to HPZS. Rabbits, snakes, lizards, turkey vultures, ravens, owls, and many other wild animals are also seen on a regular basis.
  7. One of the rarest species in North America can bee seen at HPZS: the Mexican Gray Wolf. There are less then 100 of these animals left in the wild.
  8. While HPZS is a small facility, only eight developed acres, it will take a visitor at least one-and-a-half hours to completely see all exhibits due to the variety of species and enclosures.
  9. HPZS visitors can see animals of unusual colors including an albino Burmese python and fire-bellied toads.
  10. Many of the animals at HPZS are very people oriented. Due to required hand-rearing, many animals such as the black bear and mountain lion actually enjoy seeing people, which results in visitors getting to sit only a few feet from these large animals.
  11. HPZS assists in wildlife rehabilitation efforts. As many of our animals come from rehabilitators, HPSZ also participates in the process. Most recently, a Great Horned Owl and a Turkey Vulture recovered while living at HPZS and are now released.
  12. HPZS has the largest public display of tarantulas in the southwest, holding over 25 at any time with up to 20 on display.
  13. Some animals at HPZS actually talk back. This includes our Macaw and Ed, the Raven, who will greet visitors with a “Hello” or “Hi Ed.”
  14. HPZS takes in rescued animals from all parts of the world. A recent addition includes a Coati (a small mammal) from Puerto Rico.
  15. HPZS is not JUST a sanctuary. It is also a facility that holds weddings, birthday parties, and sanctuary events like "Boo at the Zoo", "WildLights", and "Easter EGGstravaganza".
  16. The sanctuary was originally developed to house animals from another facility that was shutting down. However, after HPZS was founded, the other facility was saved and HPZS was available for rescuing other animals.
  17. Education is central to the mission of HPZS. Docents provide educational tours on site as well as bring live animals to classrooms, clubs, and events to share the message of conservation.
  18. HPZS is a donation-based non-profit organization, meaning it would not exist without the support and contributions from our amazing community members.