The Secret Garden’s lush environs and the majestic presence of these rare and endangered animals embody peace, tranquility, and oneness with nature, and fulfill Siegfried & Roy’s desire that The Secret Garden inspire, refresh and renew the spirit of all who enter its gates.
Four types of exotic big cats reside within the Secret Garden: Siegfried & Roy’s Royal White Tigers of Nevada and White Lions of Timbavati, heterozygous Bengal tigers (possessing both tawny and white genes), a black panther and a leopard dynasty.
Since their native habitat continues to be diminished by man, the Secret Garden is their “home away from home” where they can thrive together in harmony. Each day they provide an impressive example for us: if people would respect their boundaries the world would be a more peaceful place to live. Siegfried explains, “Here at the Secret Garden, we create a safe home for these animals where you can come and see them up close; to do so will touch your heart. Roy and I believe that when any species vanishes from this earth, all of us are in some way diminished.”
Roy adds, “For all practical purposes, the wild no longer exists for these magnificent creatures. Their presence here allows our guests to be moved and inspired by their beauty and grace and to become actively involved in their protection and preservation.”
Since the early days of their career, Siegfried & Roy have always placed the care and comfort of their animals before their own, and no expense was ever spared on their behalf. This philosophy reached its ultimate expression in The Secret Garden at the Mirage. With the support of Mirage owner, Steve Wynn, Roy’s vision of a sanctuary for the animals that could be appreciated and enjoyed by humans was realized. He saw The Secret Garden as a physical and emotional extension of their guests’ experience of the show.
As with all things created by both Siegfried & Roy, the care and comfort of the animals and the quality of experience for all guests was foremost in their minds. The Secret Garden is one of the best animal care facility of its kind in the world. All the animals receive twenty-four hour care and are under constant supervision by a specially trained and experienced crew.
The design of all of the animal enclosures, both public and private, is accommodated to the unique behavior of every animal. All animals are rotated through different habitats, two to three times daily, to keep them stimulated and to mitigate boredom. They are bathed twice a week, weighed twice a month, and their feeding is adjusted accordingly. The tigers, leopards, and lions are fed a special base food for large felines called Supreme that includes calcium, bone meal, and no waste or excess fat. Vegetarian diets are not substantial enough for big cats. Supreme is now widely used at other facilities that house big cats. The Secret Garden also houses an in-house vet, its own hospital, operating room, x-ray and ultrasound machines, and fully equipped dentistry for the regular care and cleaning of the cats‘ teeth.
Roy feels that it is very important to keep the minds of the cats stimulated for the enrichment of their life. They need things to play with and the cats enjoy playing with pumpkins and watermelons in the enclosures and pools. He uses different scents to stimulate them, and moves them from one enclosure to another.
Like the Secret Garden, the Dolphin Habitat is a state-of-the-art facility of which Steve Wynn was especially proud. Its pools are stable, pristine environments. They are served by one of the most sophisticated marine water filtration systems in the world which is supported by several backup power generators. The Dolphin Habitat has been the source of a number of several groundbreaking systems and technology breakthroughs in marine life support, as well as providing an ideal environment for both the study and appreciation of these beautiful animals.