Behind the doors of every hotel on the Las Vegas Secrets you are sure to find all kinds of entertainment, secret gardens and hidden nooks offering wild and wondrous attractions. They’re not necessarily heavily advertised if you’re not staying at the hotel, you might not even hear about them if you’re not looking for them, but every resort has something special to discover and explore deep in it’s grounds.
The Mirage Hotel has one of the best of them all. Deep in the hotel you can find Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. A beautiful hidden oasis focused on scientific research, conservation and education, with some very beautiful residents.
The Secret Garden is home to all kinds of big cats, including white tigers, white lions, golden tigers, leopards, black panthers and regular lions.
While we were in Vegas the Secret Garden also had a new family of baby white lions. They were so beautiful and playful, jumping around with each other and their trainer, who they seemed to absolutely love.
As with all good animal sanctuaries, different animals are on display at different times throughout the day, to allow them off time to rest and play without being watched by visitors, so we didn’t get to see them all. But the baby lion cubs were very active and playful during our visit.
One thing to remember before you go is that big cats do sleep for most of the day, same as any other type of cat. Especially during the middle of the day, when it’s very hot and sunny you’re more likely to see them napping in a cool spot in the shadows, than jumping around and playing.
About the Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat
The Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat was created by a duo of magicians and entertainers, Siegfried and Roy. They became famous on the Las Vegas Strip with what is arguably known know as one of the most successful and popular shows on the strip – Siegfried & Roy at the Mirage Resort and Casino – where they performed with tigers.
In 1990 they opened the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat in the Mirage Hotel, which is focused on scientific research, education and conservation outreach. They claim that the animals at the garden are ambassadors for the species and ecosystems, and it’s a popular spot for school groups to visit and learn more about these incredible big cats.
Lion Facts from the Secret Garden
Here are some interesting facts we learned whilst enjoying the Secret Garden –
- While lions are not albinos as they have pigmentation which shows particularly in the eyes, paw pads and lip colour. The correct term for their condition is leucism, which is a lack of dark pigmentation.
- White lions are listed as critically endangered on the Red List of Threatened Species.
- Both white lions and white tigers are unusual in nature and their chances of survival in the wild are low due to lack of camouflage.
- White tigers are not a subspecies, they are a genetic variation.
- Almost all white tigers in zoological facilities are descended from one Bengal tiger named Mohan who was found in India in the 1950s.
- The black panther is not a different subspecies. The black panther is a leopard with a Melanistic coat. A black leopard has spots, but you can’t always see them among the dark fur.
- Leopards can be found in both Africa and Asia and are very adaptable. They can be found in a diverse range of habitats from semi-desert to the rainforest.
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Visiting the Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat
Opening hours: The Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is open from 10am to 7pm each day, with last admission at 6pm each evening.
Admission: An all day adventure pass costs $22 USD per adult, which includes entry for the entire day of purchase, including re-entry.
Tickets can be purchased from the Secret garden ticket booth, Mirage Concierge or Love Box Office.
Additional extras: There are also a number of experiences that you can take part in at the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat during your visit, including –
- Dolphin Trainer 101 – where you can work with the Dolphin Care Specialists to participate in training and overall healthcare of the dolphins.
- Paint with the Dolphins – where you get to work together with the dolphins to create a beautiful piece of art.
- VIP Tours – take a one hour guided behind the scenes tour and learn a bit about all the animal ambassadors in the garden.
- Yoga with the Dolphins – start your day with a peaceful yoga session full of stretching, breathing and guided poses.
For more information about Siegfried & Roy’s and their beautiful gardens and habitats, check out their website HERE.