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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.

Invertebrates

Tarantulas

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  • There are over 800 tarantula species worldwide. They are found on every continent except Antarctica. The tarantulas at the sanctuary come from South, Central, and North America, as well as from Africa and Asia.
  • Tarantulas are either terrestrial (ground dwellers) or arboreal (tree dwellers).
  • Female tarantulas can live up to 30 years. Males are shorter lived, and often eaten by the female after mating.
  • In Arizona, we’re lucky to live with tarantulas in the wild. They eat bugs and even rodents that you wouldn't want in your house. If you find one in or near your home, carefully scoop it into a cup or bowl and re-locate it. Or, just leave it alone.
  • HPZS's collection is one of the largest public displays in the country. We have  9 species of tarantula.

Each year, HPZS gets calls from countless, well-meaning individuals who catch these small animals in or near their homes. We ask people to leave them where they are found. Due to their unique ecology, removing them from their home range can result in death.

Emperor Scorpion

( Pandinus imperator )

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  • This species is the largest in North America, but found only in California and Arizona. Once in a while it can be found at the edges of southern Utah and Nevada. It can grow to six inches in length.
  • This species feeds on other invertebrates and occasionally on small reptiles. It has a bulb full of venom (bottom picture) and will inject it into prey or its predators.
  • As with many venomous animals, larger does not necessarily mean more dangerous. The giant desert hairy scorpion's venom is considered mild, by comparison to other scorpions. Except when an allergic reaction occurs, a sting from this species is not typically lethal. However, it is still very painful.
  • Unlike cockroaches, scorpions are not insects. They are actually classified as arachnids, along with tarantulas and other spiders, mites, and ticks.
  • Each year, HPZS gets calls from countless, well-meaning individuals who catch these small animals in or near their homes. We ask people to leave them where they are found. Due to their unique ecology, removing them from their home range can result in death.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches

(Gromphadorhina portentosa)

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  • Not everyone's best friend, but they were here before us.
  • Cockroaches are known to have resided on earth over 250 million years ago, and looked very much the same as they do today. There are over 3,500 species today. Most are omnivorous, meaning they eat plants and meat. They are very adaptable and have even been found to be able to withstand up to 105,000 rems of radiation (a thermonuclear explosion). Humans will die if exposed to just 800 rems.
  • Unlike other insects that produce sounds by rubbing body parts together, the hissing cockroach has the unique ability of producing a sound by forcing air through spiracles, a component of their respiratory system. It is a true hiss.

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Breakfast With the Animals

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Join Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary for Breakfasts with your favorite animals! Each event includes a continental breakfast in front of the featured animal, a special animal feeding, keeper talk, bio-fact station, and special activity.

Here's the remaining 2015 schedule:

  • Breakfast with the Bears - September 12
  • Breakfast with the Wolves - October 10

CLICK HERE for more information, or call 928.778.4242 to reserve your space today!

Certificate of Excellence Award

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Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary has recently been awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award. This award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor.

CLICK HERE to view our Trip Advisor profile, see what others are saying about our organization, and leave feedback after your own experiences!