Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum
Calling it a museum is a bit misleading; it is unlike any you have likely encountered. With the exception of its aquarium, all of the live animals' habitats are located throughout the 21 acres that make up the museum. There are two miles of pathways through the desert that lead you from one habitat to the other. The museum provides diorama-like habitats appropriate for its rescued animals, similar to what they would find in the wild. They also have a secluded rest home for two aging mountain lions.
The Sonoran Desert range extends southwestward from Arizona, across the Gulf of California and through much of the Baja California Peninsula. To reflect aquatic life found in the freshwater rivers and streams in the Sonoran Desert range, Warden Aquarium contains a freshwater section separate from the saltwater section containing sea life found in the gulf.
There are approximately 56,000 individual native plants and 230 native mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects and birds within the grounds. The aged mountain lions have been replaced by a cub rescued in California. The javelinas are huge, and their young remind me of the baby only a mother could love. While the animals are captive, their surroundings lend to good photography, especially with a shallow depth of field.
My thanks to the staff of the museum for their assistance and especially volunteer Fred Finny for his tour of the museum and answering my many, many questions.
You can read more about the museum on their website.