Animal Discovery Room

Visitors of all ages can experience something new every time they visit the Animal Discovery Room. When we are open our staff members are available to answer your questions. Watch this video to meet some of the animals you may see in person on your visit:

Visit the Animal Discovery Room and:

  • Hold and touch gentle animals
  • Learn about the behavior and habitats of exotic species
  • Try out self-guided activities and examine specimen models
  • Discover more about yourself and other organisms

School Year Hours

1:30–4:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays including: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Malcolm X Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Veterans Day.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Summer Break Hours

1:30-4:00 p.m. Daily, June 13-August 30, 2015.

Which animals will you meet?
Not all animals are on public view every day. See a list of animals you might meet when you visit.

Learn more about our live animals in camps, classes, birthday parties, and education programs for schools and community groups. We can even bring some of our programs to you.


Events this Season

Visit the Animal Discovery Room and meet a new Animal Ambassador every thirty minutes.  Our knowledgable staff and interns will introduce you to our unique and diverse collection of live animals and share fun stories and interesting information about these wonderful creatures. 

Have you ever wondered how animals survive the warm temperatures and dry weather of summer?  How does a frog keep from drying out during the summer?  How do the behaviors of snakes and other reptiles change as the temperature warms up?  How do furry animals cope with the heat?  Learn about all of these things and more while visiting the Animal Discovery Room.

Frog being held by a visitor


Exciting Animal Updates

Animal of the Month:

Truffles and Cream Puff are our youngest Animal Ambassadors.  They were born to their mom Pattie Cake in July of last year.  They have now gotten old enough to no longer depend on their mom and have been moved to a new enclosure that they both share together.  Truffles is a little more outgoing than Cream Puff, and it's been fun to watch their personalities develop over the past several months.  They are quite vocal when they smell fresh veggies being chopped up for their treats, and each one quickly grabs her favorite leafy green and scurries under her personal igloo to munch in peace.  Occasionally they play a bit of tug-o-war for a leaf, but usually one will eventually give up and find another scrumptious treat to eat.   

Guinea Pig Babies


Adopt Animals or Make a Donation

Adopt an Animal

There are a number of animals in the Animal Discovery Room that have served us well for many years and are now ready to retire from the world of education. In some cases, we have more of one species than we really need. We are looking for permanent homes for these wonderful animals. A small adoption fee helps ensure that each animal goes to a family that is ready to take on the responsibility of adoption. Below is a current list of adoptable animals as well as criteria for adopting them.


Sorry, there are no animals available for adoption at this time.

Sorry, there are no animals available for adoption at this time.  

Criteria For Adopting

  1. You must set up a time with the Animal Discovery Room Manager to talk about species-specific enclosure requirements and the animal's husbandry needs and history*. See Contact Us page for general contact information.
  2. You must provide your own enclosure with proper set up and food for the animal prior to picking it up.
  3. You must pay the $15.00 adoption fee for most animals. Mice are a $5.00 flat adoption fee, regardless of how many are adopted at once. Rats are $5.00 each.

*Note: Not all adoptable animals are recommended for households with small children.

Make a Donation

Many of the animals in the Animal Discovery Room (ADR) have been donated by patrons of the Lawrence Hall of Science.

We do accept donations on occasion, but due to space limitations, we carefully screen all animals before they become a part of our teaching animal collection. ADR animals must be easily handled and even-tempered, since many are used in classes with children and members of the public.  We also occasionally accept used animal enclosures as long as they are in good condition.

We house more than 50 species of animals and attempt to maintain variation in the ADR when accepting animal donations. Please contact us if you are interested in donating your animal or used animal enclosure to find out if it meets all of our criteria. 

We Care About Our Animals

Special care is taken to ensure that all of our animals are housed correctly, with the proper substrate, heat, light, humidity, and enrichment. Undergraduate Animal Discovery Room (ADR) helpers, with the assistance of teen interns, conduct daily checks of all ADR animals.  Helpers and interns are the first to notice any changes in the animals’ behavior or physical appearance. If there is a behavioral or physical change in an animal, it is monitored and may receive vet care depending on the severity of the situation. In order to monitor all of the ADR animals, we conduct monthly weight checks. New or sick animals are weighed weekly to ensure that they are adjusting well and staying healthy. When needed, we administer medicine, supplied by our veterinarians.

UC Berkeley Office of Laboratory and Animal Care (OLAC) veterinarians provide care for all our animals according to campus animal care and USDA regulations. Veterinarians are available 24/7 to provide quality veterinary care and advice. They do routine checkups on all of the animals, as well as operations and x-rays, and provide other veterinary services.