Skip to main content
All non-member Zoo tickets must be pre-purchased online or at the onsite kiosks.

Today’s Hours: 7:00am – 1:30pm

Meet Arya, the Black-Footed Cat Kitten

“Hi, I’m Arya!”

The black-footed cat born on April 8th, currently under the expert care of The Living Desert’s veterinary team, officially has a name – Arya. Meaning noble or honorable in Sanskrit, the name Arya also brings to mind the strong female character of the Game of Thrones/A Song of Fire and Ice series. Arya has had quite an eventful first few weeks of life, but she is making great progress.

Born to a first-time mother, the animal care team noticed Arya, had a significant injury when she two weeks old. The kitten was immediately brought into The Living Desert’s animal hospital and was treated and cared for by the Zoo’s veterinary team for a major laceration on her neck. She underwent successful surgery to repair the injury and has since received daily wound treatments and medications under the dedicated care of the Zoo’s veterinary team.

“Arya is steadily improving, and we are very encouraged by her progress,” said Dr. Christine Higbie, Associate Veterinarian of The Living Desert. “We have seen great improvements in her health, behavior, and wellbeing. Her neck wound is healing very nicely, she is becoming more active and is eating regularly. Her recovery to date is truly remarkable, and we have all fallen in love with this little warrior.”

Although we don’t know the exact reason why the injury occurred, it appears that it was caused by the kitten’s mother. It could’ve been from the mother carrying the kitten around too much, overzealous grooming, or another reason altogether. And it may seem counterintuitive to us, but in the animal world, there is always a risk of the mother, or other family member, suddenly rejecting, harming, or killing the offspring. And in the case of first-time mothers, there can be a learning curve during first breeding and parenting attempt.

We are so proud of the excellent care provided to Arya, and we look forward to sharing more Arya updates.

Share it

ticket icon

Ticket Prices

Tickets must be purchased in advance in order to maximize your time for fun!

Age and Prices


(General Admission, Ages 18+)



(General Admission, Ages 3 – 17)


Military Discount

(Active & Retired)