Our Animals

fox3Animal residents at Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary do not tell the typical zoo story. All animals at this sanctuary have been rescued from other locations and have a lesson to teach. They include a tiger who was rescued from a facility that closed; a black bear who came to the sanctuary as a cub when his mother was mistakenly shot by a hunter; a mountain lion who was kept as a pet; and a gray fox who was rescued from a pool.

Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary also has a prestigious role as participant in the American Zoo and Aquarium Association’s Species Survival Plan for the critically endangered Mexican Gray Wolf. After a 20-year absence in the wild, this animal is being reintroduced to its former range following a successful captive breeding program. The sanctuary is a housing facility for wolves not yet ready for release.


Javelina or Collard Peccary

( Pecari tajacu )

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"Dude," "Taz," and "Tater-tot" all arrived at the Sanctuary in 2012 as orphans. "Bonzai" arrived as an orphan in 2014.

  • Javelina (the "J" is pronounced like an "H") range from the southwestern United States to northern Argentina.
  • They may resemble pigs, but they are in a separate category. They have a three-chambered stomach, unlike the simple stomach of pigs. Javelina are omnivorous, but prefer plant life to meat. In the wild they eat cactus, roots, seeds, fruit, insects, and just about anything else they can find. We feed them a mix of pellets, plus fruits and vegetables.
  • They live in family groups with up to 50 individuals.
  • Their eyesight is poor, but have a keen sense of smell. Mountain lions and jaguars are among the few predators willing to risk injury from their long tusks. They will defend themselves and their young only if they feel threatened.
  • When residential areas encroach into their ranges, they can be considered pests because they destroy lawns and gardens.



 (Llama glama)

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“Princess Oreo” was donated to HPZS by private individuals.
They are one of four members of the camel family found in the Americas today. The other three are the alpaca, guanaco, and vicuna. All four are from South America.

  • The llama is a domesticated beast of burden, probably descended from the guanaco. They also produce fine wool. They usually have a docile nature and are easy to train.
  • They average between 280 to 350 pounds, with a normal life span of 20 to 25 years.
  • Like, cattle, sheep, goats, deer, antelope, and pronghorn, members of the camel family are ruminants. They have a three (not four) chambered stomach, lack upper incisor teeth, and chew a cud.
  • Llamas are basically silent, but can make a soft “hum” which can indicate anything from contentment to concern.
  • Because of the high elevation and freezing nights in their native land, the babies, called crias, are always born in the daytime.

Mule Deer

 (Odocoileus hemionus)  “ Aerial, Evie, Kramer and Sochi”

CIMG1738CIMG1749CIMG1755Story: All the mule deer at HPZS are rescued orphans.

Geographic range: Western half of North America and Canada

Habitat: Mule deer prefer rugged areas that are arid, open, and rocky hillsides. They will however be found at various habitats from forest edges at higher elevations to the desert floor.

Diet: Herbivores, they are concentrate selectors that will eat herbaceous plants, but also some woody plants such as blackberry, huckleberry, and thimbleberry. In the winter they will consume twigs of Douglas fir, cedar, yew, aspen, willow, dogwood, serviceberry, juniper, and sage.

Weight: 125-200 lbs

Characteristics: Mule deer have large ears that may reach lengths of 10 inches. They move constantly and independently like burros (hence their name). Mule deer do not run rather they move with a bounding leap or stotting. All four feet come down together they can reach speeds of 45 mph for short periods of time. Mule deer have larger feet with allow them to claw out water that is about 2 feet deep.

  • Mule Deer lack canine teeth because they are a prey animal and consume vegetation. Like a cow they posses a multi-part stomach, the first two chambers act as temporary storage bins that can be digested later. The deer will then bring up food back to it’s mouth later to be chewed once again, this is called chewing cud.
  • Mule deer are unable to detect motionless objects, but have excellent sensitivity to moving objects. Mule deer can jump to 8 ft in height and 20 feet in length. They also have a keen sense of smell and hearing.
  • Antlers grow mostly for display purposes. The larger the rack the better chances of acquiring a female. The size of the antler it’s self is dependent on the combination of their age, nutrition, and genetics. Antlers are composed of a material that is similar to bone. It grows under a layer of skin called velvet. This velvet supplies blood to the growing antlers which are soft. When fully grown the antler hardens, the velvet dries, and then it is rubbed off. After the breeding seasons passes the antlers are then shed.
  • Social behavior: Mule deer have seasonal migrations depending on the location of the animal. In Arizona they may migrate in response to rainfall patterns. They are active in morning, evenings and during moonlight nights. This is mostly to conserve water and keep body temperatures at livable limits. They do have sweat glands and are able to pant to provide evaporative cooling during hot periods.
  • Mule deer breed in late November and early December. After finding a suitable mate the two will remain together for several days.



Pot-bellied Pig

(Sus scrofa scrofa)

Hamton and Napoleon were donations from a private individual. 

  • Pot-bellied pigs eat roots, tubers, fruit and vegetables. 
  • They are native to Vietnam.


(Antilocapra americana)

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Mavrick, Fabio and Takoda
  • Pronghorn are found in Western United States and Canada , and parts of Mexico . They are often mistakenly called antelope, but they are the only living species of the subfamily Antilocaprinae.
  • Pronghorn are the fastest North American mammal. They can reach 55 miles per hour, and can maintain 45 miles per hour for over 4 miles.
  • Their very large eyes are set on the side of the head, giving them a 360º field of vision.
  • Both males and females have horns, but those of the female remain quite small. They are the only horned animals to shed their horn caps.
  • Twins are common when food is plentiful. At two days of age, fawns can run faster than a horse. But, they don't have the stamina to keep up with a herd in flight.
  • For the first 21 to 26 days, they hide in vegetation. The fawns interact with their mothers for only 20 to 25 minutes each day. That is why it is easy to think that a fawn has been abandoned.
  • Habitat destruction is the biggest threat to the pronghorn. Thousands have been lost in just the Prescott area, alone. One of the subspecies of pronghorn is even endangered.



Black bellied sheep

(Ovis aries)

Black Bellied Sheep

Daisy, Beau and Luke, a mother and two lambs, arrived in 2011 when donated by a private owner. 

  • They are herbivores and eat mostly pasture grasses. 
  • Black Bellied Sheep are very closely related to Barbados Sheep, which do not have horns.


(Capra aegagrus hircus)

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Joe Don and Levi arrived in 2011 from private donors. George and Blueberry arrived in 2012 from private donors.  Blueberry is George's mother. Galileo and Clarise arrived in 2014 from private owners.

  • Goats are herbivores and eat grasses and vegetables. 
  • Goats were one of the first animals to be tamed by humans.
  • Goats are a member of the cattle family.


(Vicugna pacos)

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Jolita and Marshmallow are mother and son and arrived in 2011 from private owners. 

  • Alpacas are herbivores and eat vegetables and grasses. 
  • Alpacas are raised for their fleece. 
  • There are two types of alpacas, depending on their fleece.
  • The alpacas at the zoo are Huacaya or “teddy bear” alpacas.

Miniature Horses

(Equus caballus)


Dolly and her daughter Charity arrived at Hertiage Park Zoological Sanctuary in 2012 from a private donor. 

Miniature Horses have been bred to have the same proportions as a regular horse, just smaller in size. True miniature horses are no taller than 34 inches. These horses usually live between 25 and 35 years and come in all color variations.

In the United States, miniature horses are used as companion animals, show horses and pets. These animals can be trained to pull a cart and even to guide the blind.

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Mexican Gray Wolf SSP Website:

Gray Wolf

Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary currently houses two incredibly rare Mexican Gray Wolves. This species is dwindling in the wild, but thanks to the Species Survival Plan (SSP), captive breeding programs and reintroductions into the wild have helped turn the tables. Please visit our partner website (by clicking on the photo) for more information on this amazing animal and what you can do to help!