Roos N More Zoo – Exotic Animal Interactions Near Vegas!

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las vegas is not my ideal scene. hoards of people, weird smells and watching people throw money into rigged machines just doesn’t do it for me. however, just a short one hour drive from vegas is an incredible place. there may still be weird smells but instead of hoards of people there are a plethora of amazing animals you can interact with!

Exotic petting zoo

the magical land is called Roos N More Zoo – “an ed-zoo-cational experience!” any place that is activity incorporating puns into their tagline has me from the get go.

IMG_5780 roos n more

they are currently only accepting private tours right now but hope to have open zoo days again soon! you can stay up to date with them on their facebook page!

Roos-N-More Zoo is a privately owned non-profit educational zoo, operated by veterinarians Dr. Valerie, Jay Holt and their family. they “believe in conservation through education and hope that the up-close and personal encounters with the animals will inspire people to help save their wild counterparts!”

we started off the tour with making out feeding camels! it was hilarious, a little scary and mostly awkward. this is basically the new-age lady and the tramp (i’m the lady, just to be clear). that’s Jafar the camel.exotic animal petting zoo nevada

we walked around and learned from the senior zookeeper, Casey. she is so passionate about her job and the animals there, it was really incredible. she is also very brave.


you know who else loves carrots? baby zebra and mini-donkeys! the little donkey is only 3 weeks old and the other one is full grown!

exotic animal petting zoo nevada

next we visited the kangaroos! the one below’s name is Amaroo, which means ‘pretty little thing’ in aborigini! she loved having under her neck scratched and we became good friends. i mentioned that i played with many of her cousins while we were in australia and that the big red ones are real scary.

fun fact: kangaroos actually have 4 different nipples with different milk consistencies in them! i know, it’s crazy. they basically have a full bar in their pouch. they can also stop and then start their pregnancy if suddenly the environment isn’t ideal to have a baby. i feel like us humans need this capability.

exotic animal petting zoo nevada

below is Thorn, who is an old world african crested porcupine! for some reason, this is the animal that made me the most nervous. i pictured all of those thorns piercing my sweaty skin and passing out in that water. good thing Casey was there to share more fun facts.

fun fact: they cannot shoot quills (what a relief) and they gnaw on bones to keep their teeth dull otherwise they would grow forever!

exotic animal petting zoo nevada

Thorn totally thought she was a dog and came up to rub against our legs and follow us around the enclosure! those quills were nuts to feel! they are lightweight and hollow inside but would do some serious damage if they wanted to.

ryan avery and thorn

this is a bear cat. we did not get to play with him but i needed you to know something important about this species.


fun fact: bear cat’s natural odor smells like fritos; regular, not chili cheese. (i just made myself gag).

next we were off to go play with some big/small cats! i say big/small because their behavior is similar to a house cat but obviously they are much bigger and the “small” because obviously tigers and lions are much larger cats.

this is Kalahari, a serval, and she had the attitude of a typical cat. she pretended we didn’t exist even when we called her name and gave us the cold shoulder until she was ready.

exotic animal petting zoo nevada

this is Nefarious! she came around a bit sooner and is a caracal cat, which are apparently legal to own in nevada though i still wouldn’t recommend it. people get them but then don’t care for them correctly so leave it to the professionals, and come play here!

exotic animal petting zoo nevada cat

i first saw kookaburras in australia and my eyes grew wide when i realized it wasn’t just a campfire song but they really existed (you know – “kookaburra sits in the old gum tree…“)

then we got to hold one, appropriately named Crickey, and laugh with him! this was one of my highlights from here! a bird on the hand is worth two in bush or something?

exotic animal petting zoo nevada

fun fact: kookaburra are used by hollywood for monkey sounds in almost all jungles scenes! it’s what was used in the wizard of oz!

how hilarious is that laugh?! i couldn’t get enough. i have like 4 videos on my phone of this.

that adorable little one below is Shelly, the 3-banded armadillo!

she crawled in my husband’s heart. he literally said “come here shelly! i’m going to protect you” and then nuzzled her.

exotic animal petting zoo nevada

you can’t really blame him.

exotic animal petting zoo nevada

nature is amazing…look how it can perfectly fit together to protect itself. this was very visually pleasing to my OCD brain. watch the video at the end to see her prancing around on her tippy-toes!

fun fact: they are the only armadillos that can completely roll up into a ball! they are mammals and give live birth but her babies are born soft and harden over time (thank goodness).

exotic animal petting zoo nevada

i was quite relieved when we were taken into an air-conditioned room (i am not cut out for the desert and either is my deodorant). not only was it literally cool but also figuratively cool because the walls were not only painted like a jungle but contains animals from Roos N More Zoo!

we got overly excited when Casey said she’d be right back and waltz in with a sloth clinging to her body! this is Ambien and she loves warm hugs.

exotic animal petting zoo nevada

fun fact: sloths sleep for 20 hours a day and because they don’t open their mouths very often, it’s full of a ridiculous amount of bacteria. their bites can be very harmful because of it!

you may have said to yourself “well chelsea, i wish i could see what the inside of this elusive sloth’s mouth looks like.” well you are in luck:

exotic animal petting zoo nevadayou better believe i put my logo tag on that…i don’t want people ripping off that photo, editing it for a before/after photo of using a certain toothpaste. i’m a planner.

i became best friends (maybe in a relationship? i’m not sure) with the next little guy. this is a 3 month old lemur that was obsessed with me.

exotic animal petting zoo nevada

he paid no interest to my husband but couldn’t get enough of me…actually it was specifically my sweaty neck hair. look at him literally necking me! so awkward…i mean my husband was right there.

exotic animal petting zoo nevada

exotic animal petting zoo nevada

the grand final has now crowned me with an important award:

“best wife ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” – ryan avery (husband).

exotic animal petting zoo nevada

exotic animal petting zoo nevada

that is Lotty and she is an asian small-claw otter. since i met my husband eight years ago, he has been obsessed with otters and now he actually got to play with one!!! #fortheblog

it made me so happy to get to see my husband’s eyes light up like a christmas tree. thanks also to Roos-N-More for making this happen (you can totally do this too when you go on a tour!)

exotic animal petting zoo nevadaexotic animal petting zoo nevada

of course he still had to share with me because that’s what marriage is folks and you otter know that by now.

exotic animal petting zoo nevadashe was so soft and snuggly!

fun fact: these little ones have super strong jaws and teeth so they don’t need rocks to crack things open like other otters do!

here’s a video showcasing otter, lemur pretending he’s dracula, the armadillo and a toucan!

oh and this is karen.

IMG_5844 karen

we are still laughing about with karen because all the other animals had exotic/creative/funky names and then there was karen. she kept that fierce look the entire 3 minutes we looked at her – without blinking.

i would highly recommend taking what you might have gambled away, rent a car for the day and venture out to see Roos N More Zoo –  you will not be disappointed! plus, the drive from las vegas is pretty incredible.

exotic animal petting zoo nevada

like i previously said, at the time of this post they are only doing private tours currently but all you have to do is call or email to set one up. you can have up to 25 people on your tour and it will run $300 (that’s $12 per person to play with monkeys and pet porcupines)!

they are also available for private events, school trips and can even come to you for a corporate/school/personal event! these people are incredibly passionate and care first and foremost about the well-being of these incredible animals! go pay them a visit, you shall love it!

Exotic petting zoo

1) what is your dream animal to play with?
2) have you had any odd encounters with animals? (lemur sucking my neck is mine)
3) any animals you’d rather not play with?


thank you to roos-n-more zoo for giving us a complimentary tour in exchange for a review. all opinions and impressions of the zoo and animals are my very own!


  1. Elyse

    August 21, 2015 at 5:09 am

    This place looks like a dream to me! I’m definitely going to put it on my bucket list!

    • Elyse

      August 21, 2015 at 5:49 am

      I’d have two animals that i’d love to meet and that would be a baby chimp or gorilla.
      Elyse recently posted…Forgiveness

      • chelsea

        August 21, 2015 at 8:40 am

        awwww baby anything has my name on it 🙂

    • chelsea

      August 21, 2015 at 8:40 am

      it is seriously SO amazing!!!!! glad you’re adding it to your bucket list elyse because your heart will be SO excited!

  2. Audrey

    August 21, 2015 at 9:06 am

    SHUT YOUR FREAKING FACE UP! The only thing I love more than Harry Potter is ANIMALS. Can I please work there?? DAMN! You have a freaking otter on your shoulder! Who gets to do that??!? You are one lucky duck, lady!

    (Also, PLEASE tell me that kitty’s name is Karen because of Talladega Nights…. 😀 )
    Audrey recently posted…This Raw Life

    • chelsea

      August 21, 2015 at 10:14 am

      AHHHHHH! you probably right!!!! i thought there was a reason this was so funny to me and my subconscious couldn’t figure it out!

      you totally have to go visit them- you shall adore it there audrey!!

  3. Amanda

    August 21, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    I NEED to go to this magical place.

    • chelsea

      August 24, 2015 at 7:57 am

      you REALLY do! like…jump in the car right now and get a move on!

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  5. Nina @ Hugs and Lattes

    October 27, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Sooo cute! I loved the kookaburra and the lemur! Heart eyes all over the place. This looked like such a fun, amazing experience! Thank you for sharing in great detail and lots of great pictures!!
    Nina @ Hugs and Lattes recently posted…Pumpkin Patches + Chocolate Factories