Thanksgiving with the Lemurs

Thanksgiving with the Lemurs


lemurs all together



Join us on Thanksgiving day and come see the lemurs as they enjoy their thanksgiving in style. The lemurs will have a traditonal thanksgiving feast and eat on a table  “The lemurs feasted on a menu of turkey made of browse biscuits, sweet potato pie with a browse biscuit crust and popcorn, green beans, sugar-free grape jelly with dried cranberries, and sugar-free grape juice,”


Santa with the Animals



Santa brings presents to the animal residents here at Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary! Join Santa on Sunday, December 10, 2017, from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, as he roams the park handing out gifts and treats to our very deserving animal residents. Earlier that day you can stop by the Event Center Lawn and help decorate the boxes that he'll be giving out. And later that day, Santa will also be available to meet with children, hear their holiday wishes, and pose for pictures. For more information, please call us at 928.778.4242.


Santa with bunnies




ZooLittles Preschool Program

ZooLittles Logo
COME PLAY IN THE DIRT! ZooLittles is an exciting and dynamic program designed for pre-schoolers (age 3 - 5) to help develop young children's’ physical, emotional, and intellectual growth through exciting hands-on experiences. This includes working in the zoo’s organic garden to understand soil, plant, and insect relationships. Children participate in worm composting & understanding its role in soil development; they will also interact with zoo animals, feed them, and learn about their many different varieties, environments, and relationships. Group interaction in simulated and real environments will be promoted and encouraged with guided activities and free play time.

Vision: Creating opportunities for children to gain appreciation for and become stewards of the natural world.

This program will be held on varying Wednesdays and Saturdays from May through September, 9:30 am - 11:30 am. The full listing of dates is as follows: May 6, 10, 17, 20, 24, 31  •  June 3, 7, 14, 17, 21, 28  •  July 1, 5, 12, 15, 19, 26  •  August 2, 5, 9, 16, 19, 23, 30  •  September 2, 6, 13, 16, 20, 27
Pricing for this two-hour program (per class) is $10 for members (per child with one accompanying adult) and $15 for Non-Members (per child with one accompanying adult). We also have discounts available to those who register for multiple sessions. For every four classes you register for, you can save $5. For members, instead of $40 for four classes, you'd pay just $35.
The registration form can be found here. Pre-registration is required and spaces are limited.

Mission: Inspire children to appreciate the natural world through physical interaction and experiential learning.

ZooLittles 3 ZooLittles 1 zoolittles 23123 ZooLittles 1

Behind-the-Scenes Photography Tour

photographic tour experience - dartmoor zoo

Event Dates: Saturday, April 22, 2017 & Saturday, November 18, 2017
Event Time: 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Price: Members: $25, Non-Members: $30

Do you think you have an eye for photography? Do you wish you could get special access to the grounds and with the animals for photos? If so, this Photography Tour is just the thing for you! In the morning, an hour before the park opens, bring your best camera and get some amazing behind-the-scenes photos of the Sanctuary that you wouldn't be able to get otherwise!

On these dates, we'll tour the zoo for a special look at some of your favorite animals we have here at the sanctuary. You'll also be guided by our Animal Keepers, who will be able to provide special access for photos that you cannot get when the park is open. We'll bring animals out when we can, allow you into enclosures we're able, and let you beyond the barriers when it's acceptable. Some animals we cannot provide special access, but for many, you'll be able to get some shots you'd never be able to get otherwise.

The event will begin at 9:00am, and officially run until 10:30am, a half-hour after the park opens to the public. Coffee and tea will be provided for guests. Mornings provide great sunlight for photos, and it's a time when many of our animals are out and about. This start time will also provide attendees with an hour of unfettered access before the general public arrives. After the event, attendees are welcome to self tour the park (with regular access) at their leisure.

Pre-Registration is required and space will be extremely limited (we can only allow special access to so many people). Last year was our first attempt at this event, and even though we have some plans to make this year's installment better, it was still a great hit and sold out quickly. For more information on this event or to register (or to inquire when registration opens), please contact Lorette at 928.778.4242, ext. 16.

FAQ    For information on our private tours, click here.


Amazon Smile

Directions to Support Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary via AmazonSmile

AmazonSmile is a great way to support your favorite charity, all while doing the same shopping on Amazon that you already do anyway. By linking your Amazon account to Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary, Amazon will donate a small percentage of your purchases back to our sanctuary. We do not receive or have access to any of your personal or purchasing information; all donations are anonymous.

To link your account, follow the easy steps below. Once you're linked, just make sure to do all of your future shopping through and your preferences will be saved. It's all of the same products and same prices, just for a good cause!


  • There you'll be prompted to sign in to your account.
  • After you sign-in, it will ask you to select your charity.

  • Where it says “Or pick your own charitable organization:” at the bottom, enter “Heritage Park Zoo” and hit enter.

  • Select the listing that says "Prescott Animal Parks Association" (in Prescott, AZ).

  • Once you've selected our organization, Amazon will remember your preference and you will not need to go through this process again.

  • That's it! Now, just shop and Amazon will do the rest. The more you shop, the more your help our organization!


Thank you for continuing to help support our animal, resucue and education programs. Your donations to our community organization truly make a huge difference - we could not do all that we do without your support.

For questions about this program, please feel free to call Alex at 928.778.4242, ext. 16

Conservation Projects

Bald Eagle Nest Watch

What is the animal?

bald-eagleThe bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), a large bird of prey, stands approximately 29 to 42 inches tall. It has a wing span of six to eight feet and range from seven to 15 pounds. As with most birds of prey, males are about one-third smaller than females. For the first three to four years of a bald eagle’s life, its feather coloration is a dark brown. As it approaches age five, it becomes mottled with white all over its body. Its iconic white head and tail, with an even dark body, does not show until it passes five. Eagles build large nests that can reach 10 feet in diameter and can weigh several tons. These nests are almost always found within a few miles from a large source of water, as the main prey of bald eagles is fish. Their range is extensive: from Alaska, through Canada, the United States, and into Mexico.

What is its story?

In 1963 there were only 417 breeding pairs of bald eagles in the United States. This species was affected historical hunting, habitat destruction, and other factors. One of the major factors nationally was DDT. This commonly used pesticide made the shells of eagle eggs weak and fracture under the weight of the eagle sitting on the eggs to keep them warm. More than twenty years ago, the state of Arizona estimated that there were only 11 breeding pairs left in the state. The habitat destruction was a main reason for decline in the state. Eagles require large trees to hold their heavy nests. These trees are also the prime sources of wood for human use. After bald eagle was established as an endangered species, the recovery process began. Efforts to eliminate the use of DDT and tighter restrictions on logging allowed eagle populations to stabilize and eventually recover. There are currently 9,789 breeding pairs in the lower 48 states, and approximately 96 bald eagles that call Arizona home.

How does HPZS help?

HPZS stations staff and volunteers at the five Prescott area lakes each spring. Sighting of eagles and reports of nesting activities are reported to the US Forest Service and AZ Game and Fish Department to be included in their state-wide census.

Why is it important?

This monitoring activity is necessary to asses the overall health of the bald eagle population in the state of Arizona and is a requirement of the Endangered Species Act. Census data is used to manage and protect eagle habitat. Proper management is key to keeping these birds healthy and allowing their populations to continue to recover. Bald eagles have a variety of value. Some people consider their beauty the only reason required to want them around. Others point to the value as the national symbol. Ecologists will tell you that a family of eagles living near a lake or river can be the most important factor to control over population of large fish species in the area. Anglers can thank eagles and other fishing birds, as they ensure that only the healthest fish survive to the age and size that is desired by humans.

Black-footed Ferret Reintroduction Research

What is the animal?

The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) is part of the weasel family. These ferrets stand only six inches high and are 18 to 24 inches long, including their six inch tail. They can weigh one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half pounds and live for three to four years in the wild. They have a black mask over their eyes and have a grey/brown back and white belly. Prairie dogs comprise 90% of their diet and is a key to their survival.

What is its story?

Black-footed ferrets had not been seen in Arizona since the 1930s. In 1979, the last known black-footed ferret died, leading to the species being declared extinct. However, in the early 1980s, a small population of 130 ferrets was found in Wyoming. A few years after this group was found, sylvatic plague and canine distemper almost wiped it out. The 18 survivors were trapped and placed into a carefully designed breeding program to increase their numbers. By 1989, the population had risen to 120. The first releases occurred in 1991 in Wyoming. In 1996, Arizona joins the release program and develops a practice (soon to become standard) of using pre-release conditioning pens. The first Arizona release included thirty five ferrets and was the fourth reintroduction site in the United States. In 1998,

The teeth of the ferret is the tool that makes it a supreme hunter, despite the animal's overall small size .
452 black-footed ferrets are born and 210 are released across the country. After this year, there have been more ferrets in the wild than in captivity, an important milestone in any reintroduction program. Thanks to captive breeding programs at zoos and other facilities, more than 2600 ferrets have been bred for reintroduction. Their main threat today, comes from loss and lack of habitat that leads to diminished prey availability. Prairie dogs rely exclusively on unfragmented stretches of prairies, an increasingly uncommon site in the western US.

How does HPZS help?

HPZS staff and volunteers travel to the Arizona black-footed ferret release site to assist with ongoing research. Personnel locate and trap wild ferrets with a humane technique. After taking vital data, such as weight and length, an identification microchip is attached to the animals and they are released.

Why is it important?

Monitoring the animals is key to their survival. Data collected during this research is used to measure the size of the population growth, health of the animals, and determine future management practices and goals. Black-footed ferrets serve as a population control for prairie dogs and other animals that can severely damage farming and ranching land. They also ensure proper health of prey species by removing the weakest, often suffering from disease or other impairment.

Peregrine Falcon Nest Site Monitoring

What is the animal?

falconThe peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) is one of six falcon species found in North America. Peregrines are medium sized raptors (birds of prey) about 16 to 20 inches long. They have a heavy, broad body. Their narrow wings have dark slate gray wing tips; also a color found on the head and back with a tan or white chest and throat. Typical of all falcons, the peregrine has malar streaks (black sideburns) that extend down below the eyes and are bordered by lighter feathers. Peregrines are the fastest animals in the world; at a stoop, they can go fly over 250 mph. This creates a unique hunting style found in peregrines: they stoop on their prey and kill them on impact, alone.

What is its story?

Peregrine falcons have a wide range and are found on every continent except Antarctica. In the 1940s, the population was decreasing at an alarming rate due to widespread DDT (a pesticide) use. This chemical caused thinning of egg shells, preventing many chicks from hatching. The peregrine was added to the endangered species list in 1970 allowing for strict regulations to be implemented on the use of DDT. Recovery teams were developed to start captive breeding programs, reintroductions, and relocations. Following many years of hard work by governmental agencies, non-profits organizations, and private citizens, the peregrine was delisted in 1999. As with all delistings, the federal government was required to monitor the species for a minimum of five years to ensure that they would sustain viable populations in the wild. Presently, the peregrine falcon has stable populations in most of their historical ranges and some have even adapted well to city life, including the breeding and raising of young on the top of skyscrapers in large cities.

How does HPZS help?

HPZS monitors two known peregrine falcon nest sites in the Prescott area: Thumb Butte and Granite Mountain. These areas are closed to climbers and hikers from February 1 to July 15, annually, to allow the falcons to breed, nest, and raise young without being disturbed by human activity. HPZS staff and volunteers collect data on peregrine falcon usage of these areas, courtships, nestings, and successful offspring production. This data is forwarded to the US Forest Service and used for management of the local breeding sites.

Why is it important?

Excessive levels of human disturbance has been identified as a major cause of low population growth. Since the population of peregrines is still low and could slip back into trouble, all efforts possible to support the rise of their populations are critical to undertake. The closures of these sites to human activity are necessary when peregrines are found to be breeding in Prescott, and the data collected by HPZS are necessary to determine if, when, and where nestings occur. Often called "duck hawks" these falcons often dine on waterfowl. Peregrines serve the environment by keeping bird populations in check and healthy by removing the weakest and the sick.

Wildlife Rehabilitation

One of the sanctuary's major missions is and always has been rehabilitation of sick and injured wildlife. Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary supports rehabilitation in two important ways: rescue of distressed wildlife and providing sanctuary for animals that cannot be rehabilitated to a releasable stage.



evaluating an injured coopers hawk

javelina rescue june 2010 002


We also have the opportunity to assist wildlife rehabilitation efforts by monitoring animals that rehabilitators have deemed non-relaseable, but which may have a chance of recovery over the long-term. We have been fortunate to be able to release many animals over the years.

Most recently, we released a great-horned owl. She sustained an injury that resulted in blindness, a condition that usually does not reverse. However, over the year that she was housed at the sanctuary, her eyesight returned and she is now living free in the wild.

We have also released countless other animals that required short-term care after being rescued.

As the sanctuary grows, we plan to devote more resources to wildlife rehabilitation and add a fully equipped rehabilitation facility to the grounds.

To support our rehabilitation efforts, please visit our support page to learn about what you can do.