Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage
Siegfried and Roy’s famous white tiger and magic show came to a standstill in 2003 and the two staged a final performance in February 2009 for a charity event, but their dedication to the preservation and protection of white tigers and other wildlife continues today. When you visit The Mirage, check out the legacy left by Siegfried and Roy at the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, which is located near the resort’s guest-only pool.
The habitat consists of two sections: Three pools where a number of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins live and an area where lions, tigers, alpacas and other large mammals live.
This is not a zoo but rather an education and research-based facility, so there are no choreographed shows or performances. In the pool area, visitors may see animal care staff members interact with the dolphins through organized play activities or during feeding time, but don’t expect any fancy acts or tricks. These animals are cared for and respected as living beings, not as entertainment acts. While you’re in the pool area, take the ramp to see the pools from below, which offers a better view of the swimming dolphins. There is also a video here about the conservation efforts of the habitat.
In the secret garden, there are large, fenced-in enclosures where a variety of lions and tigers spend their time relaxing in the sun. Placards placed through the gardens provide background information about the animals.
Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is small but quiet and relaxing, considering its proximity to the on-site pool. There are benches and shaded tables throughout the gardens and near the pools, which offer a nice place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Strip. The entire park is remarkably clean for the safety of the animals. There is a snack bar on site with reasonably priced food, though nothing is served with straws (they’re dangerous for the dolphins if they fall into the pool).
The Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is open from 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. except for on weekends and holidays when the park is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Hours of operation are subject to change due to weather conditions or special events; call 702-791-7188 for up-to-date information. To get the most out of your visit, arrive in the afternoon to view trainer interactions with the dolphins. The mammals also show the most action later in the afternoon.
If you are interested in a more educational, hands-on opportunity to interact with the dolphins, there is a day-long, trainer for a day program available as well.
This is a family-friendly activity. Admission is $15.00 for adults, $10.00 for children 4-12, and free for children 3 and under when accompanied by an adult.
Photo credits: Gregory Moine (dolphin), JRGCreations (white tiger)