Nestled on Willow Street in Hesperia, between Choiceana Avenue and the Mojave River, sits a 10-acre zoo filled with exotic mammals and birds from around the world. The attraction opened in 2001, guided by the philosophy that the speed of life should not be regulated by deadlines but by the animals that share our world, according to its website,
The website also says the zoo aims to provide a unique and exciting experience for families to bond with wildlife. It offers a guided tour, led by experts who share information about the origin and behavior of the zoo’s creatures.
Among them are sheep, reindeer, reptiles and vultures, to name a few. Additionally, Hesperia Zoo houses two white Bengal tigers, as well as an alligator, bobcat and llama.
Many have been rescued from disturbing situations but the happy ending for a number of the zoo’s inhabitants doesn’t stop at their rescue. Several have been featured in feature films and commercials, such as a flock of sheep being featured in a TV commercial with Ellen DeGeneres. In addition, an African lion’s image was used to animate the character Aslan in the movie, “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
Along with daytime tours offered 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, the zoo will hold twilight tours from 6:30 8 p.m. on Aug. 19 and 26. At 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, visitors can participate in a feeding frenzy tour, which features white tigers, lemurs, reindeer, spider monkeys and bobcats. The cost is $20 per person.
Throughout the year, the Hesperia Zoo hosts a variety of family friendly events, such as its Halloween SPOOKtacular, “Boo at the Zoo.” This year, it will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25. The cost is $12 for adults and $8 for children.
The zoo’s website says the event has been designed to be a safe alternative to traditional trick or treating. Each child who attends will receive treats and is encouraged to arrive in costume.
For those looking for additional adventure, the Hesperia Zoo offers group safaris for 25 or more people. Participants sleep in tents and have the opportunity to view the animals up close and personal.
The price for adults is $25 and children and seniors are $20. Reservations are required.
General admission to the Hesperia Zoo is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors (62 and up) and children ages 2 through 12. Youngsters under the age of 2 get in for free.
For more information, visit or call 760-948-9430.