No Lion King for this cat. It’s a jaguar at the Living Desert zoo near Palm Springs. Webpage: www.livingdesert.org

The Living Desert in Palm Springs was named one of the 10 best zoos in the country by Conde Nast Traveler, and reviewers described the facility as a set for the hit film “The Lion King.”

But reviewers said it is “undoubtedly the best desert-themed zoo in America.”

“The Living Desert is extremely proud to make this list along with other prestigious zoos across the country,” said President and CEO Allen Monroe. “It’s always gratifying to be recognized for our uniqueness, and we’ll continue to make it a one-of-a-kind experience for our guests.”

The Living Desert was sixth on Conde Nast Traveler’s list, which was published last week.

“Because land is fairly plentiful in the middle of the California desert, seeing the animals here feels a little like stepping onto the set of `The Lion King,”‘ Conde Nast said of the Coachella Valley attraction. “The desert animals roam free with little inhibition, while visitors can roam the 50 gardens of 1,400 different plant and animal species.”

Ironically the Living Desert has no African lions, although it does feature at least one mountain lion.

The San Diego Zoo was number one on the list, with the Indianapolis Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, St. Louis Zoo and Bronx Zoo also making the top five.

Rounding out the top 10 were the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, and the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois.

–City News Service

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