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The 6 Best Animal Attractions in Las Vegas

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|by Aleza Freeman |

Embrace your wild side in Sin City

Las Vegas is filled with animal magnetism. The city is a mecca for party animals and animal lovers alike. If you’re among those with a soft spot for all creatures big and small, these six animal shows and attractions in Las Vegas will have you seeing spots, stripes, manes and tails.

Scooby the chihuahua has been known to appear in ‘Opium’ at The Cosmopolitan (Photo: ‘Opium’)

Scooby the chihuahua has been known to appear in ‘Opium’ at The Cosmopolitan (Photo: ‘Opium’)

Popovich Comedy Pet Theater
There’s a dog and pony show. Then there’s Popovich Comedy Pet Theater. This show has dogs, cats, geese, doves, goats and a miniature horse. Gregory Popovich, a fifth-generation circus performer, rescued the cast of creatures from shelters around the country. Popovich himself comes from Russia. He is joined on stage by his wife, daughter and 25 pet personalities. They have delighted audiences around the world, on America’s Got Talent and The Tonight Show, but most of the time you can catch Popovich and his flock in the V Theater in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.

Tournament of Kings
When you gather for the Tournament of Kings in the Excalibur arena, you will eat with your hands, bang on the table and merrily raise your glass to King Arthur’s court. The cast of jousting kings, dancing maidens and a magical wizard put on an exciting performance (be prepared for ear-piercing pyrotechnics and celebratory fireworks) while you dine on a three-course meal. As for the talented cast, the most underrated are the majestic and well-trained horses. You can’t have a knight on horseback without a horse, of course.

Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay
Get a glimpse under the sea in the middle of the Mojave at Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. It’s the country’s only predator-based aquarium, but the 2,000-plus underwater creatures seem to get along swimmingly. Sawfish, stingrays, green sea turtles, piranhas, moon jellies, even a golden crocodile, are among the 100 species comprising the aquarium’s 14 exhibits, which includes a 1.3 million-gallon shipwreck and a touch pool. Guests can also opt for educational programs and other extras like diving with sharks and feeding the turtles (for a fee).

Chihuahuas are all the rage these days. The fixation probably dates to 1997, when a big-eared Chihuahua named Gidget created a new national anthem, “Yo quiero Taco Bell.” Opium at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is a space-themed mix of adult comedy, acrobatics and music. The offbeat variety show doesn’t have much to do with Taco Bell. It does, however, from time to time, have an adorable performing chihuahua dressed in an astronaut costume. The dog performs along with his owner, acrobat Christian Atayde Stoinev. You may have seen the dashing duo on America's Got Talent or other television appearances. Hopefully, you can catch Stoinev and Scooby when they beam in for Opium.

Piff the Magic Dragon
Speaking of Chihuahuas, Las Vegas also boasts a magic performing Chihuahua named Mr. Piffles. Like Scooby, this little guy sharpened his claws with an appearance on America’s Got Talent. Mr. Piffles is the pet and performing partner of magician Jon van der Put, affectionately known as Piff the Magic Dragon (probably because he wears a dragon suit). Performing a mix of magic and dry comedy, Piff and Mr. Piffles induce plenty of oohs, ahs and “LOLs” in their show at the Flamingo Las Vegas. While the pair has won hearts across the world, you can see them close-up inside Bugsy’s Cabaret.

Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
Tucked quietly near the pool (but not in the pool) at the Mirage Las Vegas, Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is home to bottlenose dolphins, white tigers, white lions and leopards. The habitat’s newest resident, Lady Ace, marks the habitat’s fourth generation of dolphins. She was born to first-time mom Bella on August 16, 2019. Legendary magicians Siegfried and Roy opened the habitat in 1990. Along with walking the grounds, guests can get nose to bottlenose for an extra fee with programs like painting with the dolphins. Behind-the-scenes tours and other interactive and educational programs are also available.

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