Welcome from the
Friends of the Living Desert

This site is matained by the Friends of the Living Desert, a non-profit organization

that provides support for the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park.  

E-mail: friendsoflivingdesert@gmail.com

Phone: 575-887-5516.

Pictures may be used for educational purposes.  

Copyright © Friends of the Living Desert. All rights reserved.

in Carlsbad, New Mexico

Zoo Rules​

1.  Do not feed the animals because they are all on special diets , and humans food may harm them.

2.  Stay on the trail.

3.  Stay behind your leader and with your group at all times.

4.  Do not run in the Visitors Center or on the trail.

5.  Do not climb or sit on the Zoo's walls and exhibits.

6.  Do not tease the animals or tap on the exhibits.

7.  Stay behind the barriers (fences, railings, etc.) at the animal exhibits.

8. Remember that the quieter you are, the more animals you are likely to see. 


  • Whether you ​have requested a docent tour or not, someone from the Zoo will speak with your students to remind them of the Zoo Rules.
  • ​If you have several groups, you may wish to have 1/2 of them exit from the "return"  doors, so as there will not be a huge back-up at the exhibits.  You may also have some groups stay in the  Visitors Center to look at the exhibits or visit the Gift Store before they start their walk.  
  • You should plan on spending about 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours touring the Zoo.

Pertinent  Field Trip Information

  • Make your reservations at least 1 before your visit to insure the availability of docents.  Please let us know if your students will be allowed in the Gift Store, so they will have extra help available during your visit.
  • An educational group must consist of at least 10 students.  Exceptions will be considered.
  • The cost per person (children and adults) is $.50.  All money for students and chaperones  is to be collected before the field trip, and only 1 person per class should come to the front desk to pay and fill in the paperwork.  We do not honor any Guest Passes at that time.  You can speed up the check in process if you pay with a check or with as many bills as possible.  We also accept all major credit cards. 
  • If anyone comes after the group free has been paid, he/she must pay the regular Zoo rates.
  • Please encourage your chaperones to not bring preschool children with them.
  • We request that you have 1 chaperone  for each 8  to 10 students.  To save time, please have the children already divided into their groups.
  • Make sure your students understand that the chaperones are in charge of their group, and that the chaperone understands the Zoo Rules.

At other times of the year, and depending on the size of the group, we can often provide docents to take smaller groups throughout the Zoo.  The tour will take about 2 hours.  Please make reservations at least 1 month before your visit.

During the month of May, we often have several hundred  children visiting our Zoo on the same day.  Due to large numbers, we have found that it works better to have our docents stationed throughout the Zoo, where they are able to talk about the plants and animals and answer questions.

Field Trips

Depending on the size of your group and the length of time you have to spend at our Zoo, we have several special programs.  Most of these programs are presented in a hands-manner.  We also have PowerPoint presentations available on-line that you can show your students before your visit.  We request that you make reservations at least 1 month before your arrival, so the Docent Coordinator can discuss the programs with you.