Monday, August 25, 2008

Dolphins in Las Vegas

Visitors to Las Vegas can explore more than the city's myriad dining, shopping and entertainment possibilities — they also can discover rare and endangered creatures. Several casinos offer opportunities to get up close and personal with animals like tigers, dolphins and sharks. Programs include:

Tiny tigers

Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is the home of golden, white-striped and snow white tiger cubs.

Guests are invited to watch these felines, expected to weigh up to 575 pounds each when fully grown, as they pounce and play in a specially built nursery.

The cubs can be seen daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Secret Garden also is home to five rare animal breeds, including the royal white tigers of Nevada, the white lions of Timbavati, golden heterozygous tigers carrying the gold and white gene, African and Asian leopards, a black panther and a snow leopard.

Behind the scenes

Learn the secrets of the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat with a special one-hour VIP guided tour.

Guests will be escorted through the facility by one of the educational experts, and will be provided with an exclusive insider's view of the hard work and dedication that goes into the training and care of these animals.

The tour features Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, lions, tigers, leopards and a panther.
Trainer for a day

The Trainer for a Day program at The Mirage provides guests the opportunity to work side by side with a team of expert animal trainers as they care for a family of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.
From learning how to feed these creatures to discovering how to communicate with them, the day-long program provides guests with an unforgettable experience.

The program is available to four people each day, Fridays through Wednesdays, and participants must be 13 years old or older.

Predators of the deep

Dangerous predators and unusual aquatic creatures can be found within Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay.

The 90,560-square-foot facility allows visitors to view 100 aquatic species, including 15 types of sharks.

The aquarium's newest residents include a rare Komodo Dragon with 60 dagger-like teeth and deadly saliva, and a giant Pacific octopus, the largest species of octopus in the world.
Guests also can come face to face with stingrays, jellyfish, sea turtles and piranhas.

Audio wands — available in English, Spanish and Japanese — offer insight into the lives of these creatures of the deep.

The pride of Las Vegas

The king of the jungle reigns supreme within The Lion Habitat at the MGM Grand.

The one-of-a-kind, indoor habitat encourages guests to learn more about these majestic creatures by providing a rare opportunity to see them up close and personal.

Floor-to-ceiling windows and a clear Plexiglas tunnel provide optimum viewing for guests of all ages. Up to six lions can be seen each day.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"