Foxpaws | Summer 2020

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W onde rfull y Wild


board of trustees


Chairman: Treasurer: Secretary:

Bill Appel * Craig McCollam * Sandra Cooper Woodson * President/CEO & Assistant Secretary: Allen Monroe *

Jon-Marc Blalock * Deborah Chapman Susan E. Cooper Melinda Drickey Marylynn Gladstein Jim Gould Patti Grundhofer Candace Holzgrafe * H. Earl Hoover II Suz Hunt Sis Jackson Michael Kiner * Jaishri Mehta Peter Scheer Michael Schreter Dick Shalhoub

Sally Simonds Bill Simpkins BJ Skilling Phillip K. Smith, Jr. * Roger Snoble * Mary Lou Solomon Larry Spicer Sam Spinello Nancy L. Stegehuis * Van Tanner * * Board of Directors PRESIDENT EMERITA Karen Sausman TRUSTEE EMERITUS Curt Ealy Sherman A. Smith


City of Indian Wells – Mayor Ty Peabody City of Palm Desert – Mayor Gina Nestande and Councilman Sabby Jonathan City of Rancho Mirage – Councilman Ted Weill Coachella Valley Water District – Jim Barrett and Anthony Bianco Wayne Connor Associates – Wayne Connor Greater Palm Springs CVB – Scott White and Davis Meyer Bill Powers Judy Vossler Carol Wright

SECRETARY EMERITA Mary O. Cone LEGAL COUNSEL Brian S. Harnik Roemer & Harnik, LLP

DIGITAL ONLY VERSION ON THE COVER Bennett's Wallaby FOXPAWS EDITORIAL STAFF Project Manager Erin Scott Design Lourdes Muñoz Olivia Luna


CONTRIBUTORS RoxAnna Breitigan Amy Crabb Dr. James Danoff-Burg May Guzman Rachael Inciarte Allen Monroe Erin Scott Angela Woods


As I am writing this, the United States and in fact the whole world

is reacting to the COVID-19 virus by sheltering in place and trying to figure out what the new normal will be. For The Living Desert, that means shutting our doors in support of the state and county health department’s directive to try and minimize the transmission of the virus. Although our mission of conservation and environmental education is important, in the current context it is rightfully not considered essential.


table of contents 03

From the President’s Desk


The Next 50 Years: A Q&A with Allen Monroe


A Legacy of Animal Care Excellence



We’re in This Together The Living Desert’s Mission: Animal Care Fund Playful Puppies and Seriously Saving Species in Zimbabwe



Helping Wildlife Helps Humans

18 ZooNews 20 WildFile

Unfortunately, springtime is our busiest season and revenues have dried up to zero overnight without guests visiting the Park. Even though we had contingency plans for every normal disaster you could think of, our current situation is worse than 9/11 and the Great Recession combined, leaving us struggling to maintain our essential services. Without knowing how long we will be closed, we have been forced to lay-off many of our staff, retaining only the bare minimum necessary to continue to provide excellent animal care and required operational functions. Unlike some businesses which can just turn off the lights and lock the doors until things get better, we have an obligation to ensure the health and well-being of the animals under our care. Fortunately, The Living Desert has an excellent veterinary and animal care team which is rising to the occasion. The Living Desert has been supported by our community for 50 years and that care continues. To help sustain us during this time, we started a fundraising campaign called Mission: Animal Care. In just a few short weeks, more than 1,000 individuals reached out and made commitments of support. Over 750 individuals and families renewed or purchased new memberships without knowing when we would re-open and others committed to recurring monthly donations in our Champions of Conservation Program. These donations have gone a long way to help us continue our mission, and I thank everyone for making a difference. The comments that have accompanied the gifts have been heartwarming as everyone shares memories of what The Living Desert has meant to their families through the years. I am especially touched since I know everyone in our community is deeply impacted by this situation. But I know that by working together we can emerge from this crisis as a shaken, but stronger community. At The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens we believe that we serve our community in a variety of ways, in addition to our commitment to the natural world. We are a place of family, inspiration, solace, community, and a way to connect with nature. We look forward to that time when we can welcome you to visit again.

Allen Monroe, President/CEO foxpaws |



the next 50 years A Q&A with Allen Monroe

The Living Desert’s President/CEO Allen Monroe reflects on the Zoo’s historic 50 years, shares his favorite animal, and answers some of your biggest questions about what is yet to come for The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.


Let’s start really big, what is your vision for The Living Desert in the next 50 years?


Our goal is to improve The Living Desert every day. This includes how we meet the needs of our guests, communicate our mission, and facilitate human understanding and responsibility for our natural world. For the next 50 years we need to continue this approach, because as society becomes more urbanized our connection with the natural world will only diminish, making the role of conservation organizations like The Living Desert more vital.

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How has The Living Desert’s past shaped where we are today and where we are going into the future?


The Living Desert has always been a nimble organization. When you do not have a lot, it forces you to be creative and make sure that every dollar spent is going to fulfill the mission. Furthermore, our mission has not changed in our 50-year history – desert conservation through preservation, education, and appreciation – remains at the heart of everything we do.


Plans from the 1950's


What excites you about coming to work every day?


There is a new challenge every day. Working at a zoo never gets boring.


What is something about The Living Desert’s history that you wish more people knew about?


The wonderful campus we have today came about due to the hard work and determination of scores of people through the years. While some zoos started because of a government initiative or the largesse of a single benefactor, The Living Desert has pulled itself up by its bootstraps to become a vibrant part of the local community.


As The Living Desert celebrates its 50th Anniversary, what new stories have you discovered? Although we think of 1970, the year we incorporated, as the start of The Living Desert, it has been interesting to go back into the files and see plans and ideas by community leaders from the 1950’s and 60’s, where the genesis for a desert focused conservation organization began. Where do you see the future of zoos and how does The Living Desert continue to stay relevant? Zoos have been on a steady path of evolution over the last 100 years, from the menageries of old where the animals were there strictly for our amusement, to the leading conservation organizations of today. We spend a lot of time thinking about what features the zoo of the future needs to have to be relevant in our rapidly changing world.

How has conservation changed over the years and how do The Living Desert’s current and future conservation projects align with those changes? Zoo conservation used to be about saving one species at a time, such as the bald eagle or bison. It then turned to focus on saving ecosystems, like the rainforest or coral reefs. Today, The Living Desert is leading the transition to community-based conservation, which includes the needs of local populations and indigenous people when developing conservation strategies.


What do you see as the biggest challenges facing wildlife and wild places today?


The biggest challenge we face is clearly the rapid growth of the human population, which has exceeded the sustainable capacity of the Earth. According to United Nations estimates, the current 7 billion people will be 10 billion in only a few decades. The space necessary to feed and house our species drastically reduces natural habitats. Forests are razed as cattle ranches and suburbs fill once wild places. Coupled with this issue is our continued reliance on burning of fossil fuels and the rapid changes to global climate patterns on which we, and all wildlife, rely.



The Covid-19 global pandemic has drastically changed The Living Desert’s projections for earned revenue, how do you see The Living Desert moving forward?


Over its 50-year history, The Living Desert has experienced many economic downturns ranging from the OPEC oil embargo in 1973 to the Great Recession of 2008. While those slowed down our business operations, the COVID-19 crisis has brought all admissions revenue necessary to operate the Park to a halt while we shelter in place to stop the spread. The good news is that The Living Desert has a strong financial foundation, and support from the Coachella Valley community members that have reached out with offers of help ensure that we can reopen our doors when the time is right.

Phase 2 Site Plans


When the Zoo is able to safely reopen, what are you most excited for everyone to experience?


One of the ironies of closing the Park on March 17th is that the date fell a week before the planned grand opening of a new major animal habitat, Australian Adventures. After having worked for the last two years on the design and construction of this new experience, we were initially crestfallen not to be able to share this with our guests. Now however, the silver lining of this COVID-19 cloud is that when the Park reopens, we will have a brand-new habitat showcasing the deserts of Australia and some of the amazing animals that call it home.

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How will the COVID-19 closure affect The Living Desert’s plans for the next phase of Crossroads of Conservation and bringing rhinos to the Zoo?


While the temporary closure has been a shock to us all and particularly the non-profit organizations that serve so many needs in our community, we recognize this as a reminder that we need to continue planning for both short and long term strategic needs of our organizations. Part of the effort to build the Zoo of the Future has been the planning and construction of Crossroads of Conservation, a multi-phased part of our Master Plan. The architectural and engineering design work for Phase 2, the Rhino Savanna, is nearing completion and construction will start later this summer with a planned opening in November 2021. 6


Can you share a bit more about the new species coming to The Living Desert and why they were chosen?


As you can probably guess from the name, one of the featured species in Phase 2 of Crossroad of Conservation will be a breeding pair of black rhinoceros. These critically endangered animals number fewer than 5,000 in the wild, and this habitat will help us tell their conservation story, as well as share the projects The Living Desert is involved with to help prevent their extinction. There will also be several species of antelope from the dry grassland savannas, such as the klipspringer, nimble enough to stay one step ahead of the rhinos.


allen's top 5: Favorite Animal: African wild dogs. Although these are a critically endangered species with only about 5,000 remaining in their natural range, I have been fortunate enough to spend several hours observing a pack in Botswana, and I love going out and watching our multi-generational pack of painted dogs here in the Park.

Where do those animals come from? Zoos very seldom remove animals from the wild, and in fact our mission is to increase wild populations. All the major zoos in North America work collaboratively to manage the animals in human care through a program called the Species Survival Plan (SSP). Each type of animal has an SSP coordinator whose responsibility it is to develop a breeding and transfer plan for that species with the goal of maintaining genetic diversity for the next 200-500 years. The SSP coordinators for the different species we are acquiring will make their recommendations this coming year.

African Wild Dogs

Favorite Garden:


What changes will guests be able to see in the near future?


We will be modifying some of our operational procedures once we reopen to ensure the staff, animals, and guests remain healthy as the ramifications from COVID-19 are worked out. This means more hand sanitizer stations, less gathering of crowds and the closing of some buildings.


The Chihuahuan Garden has a great selection of colors and shapes in the plants there; plus it is framed by the Santa Rosa Mountains along our hiking trails.

Favorite Perk of the Job: After a long day of meetings and endless problem solving, I can go out into the Park after we are closed and just spend a few moments in solitude with the animals.

Favorite Aspect of the Job: What about long-term changes? We will be moving more of our conservation and animal care programs to the public-side of the zoo, so guests can better understand the scope of activities The Living Desert is involved with.

Getting to lead a Team of Agents of Conservation who are trying to make the world a better place.

Favorite Day of the Year: Why Earth Day, of course! 7

a legacy of animal care excellence In 1973, when The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

was a fledgling organization, we received our first animal—a Kit fox lovingly named Twix, who later became the Zoo’s familiar mascot. Now, in the year 2020, there are around 500 animals on grounds here at the Zoo. In the 50 years that have elapsed since The Living Desert began its mission to share the wonders of desert plants and animals with the public, the world has changed. Our mission to provide exceptional animal care never wavered, the science has changed, and what that looks like now has a different shape. Over time emerging research in animal psychology, as well as shifts in culture and guest expectations, have caused us to rethink our animal care model. Zoos are no longer imagined as pretty menageries with animals on display for human entertainment. Our guests expect more from us—immersive habitats, better education, and deeper impact. We want more, too! Zoos are conservation organizations, and The Living Desert’s every action and decision is filtered deliberately through that lens. But what does that look like in terms of animal care? At The Living Desert there are many critically endangered species, and we are devoted to securing insurance populations of these animals that may be vulnerable in the wild. Close to home, we work with local partners to protect desert species like the endangered desert tortoise. Abroad, the Zoo supports global education initiatives, including the majority female Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit in Africa.

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With the growth of the Zoo, the role of animal care keepers evolves, too. Basic husbandry skills—keeping the animals clean, safe, and fed—used to be the only job requirement. No longer, however. “It’s a huge responsibility,” Director of Animal Care, RoxAnna Breitigan, says of the work to ensure the safety and health of all 500 creatures. More vital at The Living Desert now are opportunities for keepers to enrich and positively reinforce the animals. Through these interactions, the animals are trained for natural behaviors—gestures and habits they would naturally perform in the wild, for example jumping or running. They are also invited to be voluntary participants in their own healthcare so that when they need to receive an exam or a vaccine from the veterinarians, there is little risk of injury, and less stress for all involved. To achieve our far-reaching goals, keeper and guest relationships have morphed by necessity since the early zoo days. Once, seeing an animal care keeper out-andabout in the Zoo was more difficult than spotting a jaguar. Guests are now invited to daily “keeper chats” to learn more about the animals. This way, they build connections by hearing animals’ individual stories. We empower our guests with knowledge and work together to protect what is important to us all. It is vital to share why zoos matter—because our conservation efforts are key to ensuring species’ survival.

pleasure to welcome endangered black rhinos and lions into the Zoo. The planned multi-species black rhino habitat will be unique, because seeing a mixedspecies site which includes black rhinos is as rare as the animals are themselves. We are eager for this undertaking, even as it will force us to think and work in new ways. Keepers will need to consider the bigger picture, focusing on land management in addition to animal care, to ensure the functionality of the space for all animals on habitat. Not an easy task, but important work as The Living Desert positions itself to be the Zoo of the Future. So perhaps it has taken 50 years, but here at The Living Desert we’re showing the guests, the zoo community, and the world, that we are more than just “dirt and lizards,” and as Breitigan of animal care reminds us, “we have a lot to be proud of.”

As The Living Desert continues to innovate we can provide improved, dynamic care to the animals, and more interactive experiences for our guests. Our next set of challenges will come following the The Pride of the Desert Capital Campaign. It will be our great 9

we’re in this together Ways to Support The Living Desert’s Mission: Animal Care Fund

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a life-changing

event for the entire world. As The Living Desert closed our doors to our beloved members, said goodbye to dedicated staff, and has been forced to weather the financial implications of zero earned revenue for many months, our perspectives have changed. We have so much to be grateful for.


In late March, we started the Mission: Animal Care fund as an emergency relief fund to ensure we could provide continuity of care to our almost 500 animals. We asked for help, and we are so overwhelmed by the generous response we’ve received. Through these unprecedented times, your support has been critical and we are so grateful. However, we are not out of the woods yet. Now, more than ever, your support makes a difference. Your gift, in any amount, ensures our animals are safe and well cared for through this crisis and beyond.

• join as a monthly donor or make your one-time gift • renew or extend your membership • adopt or name an animal • direct your daf advisor to designate funds • email or call our development team at (760) 340-4954 to determine how you can support specific significant needs. foxpaws |



new cares act federal relief bill is a win-win for you and the living desert!

Grevy's Zebra

The CARES Act makes a new deduction available for up to $300 per taxpayer ($600 for a married couple) in annual charitable contributions. This is particularly beneficial to people who take the standard deduction when filing their taxes, which could reduce their taxable income. Please contact your tax professional to see if your gift to The Living Desert will qualify. Thank you for your support!

your own words: why you give What your staff does every day for every single one of those animals is an amazing gift! Stay strong during this time, you have a lot of support from so many people! - Briana, CA My family has spent some fun days at The Living Desert. The wildlife is so precious to us all.

- Ellen, CA

I live in Minnesota but visit in the Palm Springs area once or twice each year. I took out a membership in The Living Desert when I was there the last time because it is one of my favorite places to see when I am in your area. I think you do great work there and always enjoy my visits to The Living Desert! - William, MN Thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who are working to ensure that I can continue to bring my grandchildren to The Living Desert once things get back to “normal.” - Jan, CA The Living Desert is one of my favorite places to go. The memories I’ve created with my family there are priceless. I would give so much more if I had the means. - Jamie, KS Love to ALL of you, 2-legged, 4-legged, no-legged! - Terry, CA We are proud members and appreciate you taking care of all the animals during this time of crisis and uncertainty. - Nancy, CA


how much do the animals eat? giraffe

Height: 18' Weight: 1,800lbs Food: 70lbs per day


Height: 2.5’ Weight: 210lbs Food: 4.6lbs per day

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Height: 3’ Weight: 180l Food: 4lbs pe (4% of body w


lbs er day weight)

At The Living Desert, there are almost 500 animals to be fed--most of which

need to eat daily. Our Nutrition Center prepares all the animals' dietary meals on a daily basis, from the largest animals like the giraffes, to the smallest, our ant colony. We feed carnivores (meat), herbivores (plants), insectivores (insects), piscivores (fish), and fungivores (fungi) alike. Some of the animals are specialists, meaning they only eat certain types of food, while others are generalists, meaning they will eat a wide variety of foods. The foods we feed are human quality--we order the produce, fruits, vegetables, and greens from restaurant supply chains. Other elements are specifically ordered: rodents, birds, worms, cockroaches, carcasses, larva, grains, egg, raw meat, and commercial diets like dog food. The Nutrition Center is constantly working for the animals, and it takes about 16 hours a day to prepare all the different diets! This work entails not only making the dishes but also preparing mixes, cleaning, washing, ordering, inventory, feeding, and more! All worth it to keep the bellies full and animals healthy!

african wild dog

Height: 2.4’ Weight: 79lbs Food: 4.4lbs per day (83.6lbs for whole pack)


Height: 2.5’ Weight: 120lbs Food: 1.7lbs per day

bennett’s wallaby

Height: 3' Weight: 53lbs Food: 0.5lbs per day

bat eared fox Height: 16” Weight: 9lbs Food: 0.4lbs per day


Height: 12” Weight: 1.8lbs Food: .11lbs per day (5% of body weight)


PLAYFUL PUPPIES AND SERIOUSLY SAVING SPECIES IN ZIMBABWE Dr. James Danoff-Burg, Director of Conservation Engagement and Learning

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We have been blessed this year with an

abundance of African wild dogs, with 11 pups being born in late January! These adorable bouncy babies have been a huge hit with our guests, members, and staff as they learn how to become pack members from their parents and older siblings. Last year we had six pups born to parents Beatrix and Kiraka. So, we now have 19 African wild dogs in total! African wild dogs, also known as painted dogs (Lycaon pictus), are endangered in the wild, with fewer than 5,000 individuals remaining across Africa. The dogs are often accused of killing livestock that farmers need for their livelihood and then are indiscriminately killed in retribution. Research by our conservation partners in Zimbabwe suggest however that the dogs are unfairly stigmatized. Dr. Greg Rasmussen of Painted Dog Research Trust (PDRT) has data indicating that painted dogs kill only a small percentage of the livestock that is lost. In fact, many more livestock are lost from wandering off than those that are killed by wild dogs. Here at The Living Desert, we have been extremely successful breeding wild dogs. Just as importantly, we have been successful in caring for painted dogs in the wild! We have donated much needed funds to both Painted Dog Conservation and PDRT. In addition, The Living Desert has partnered with PDRT to analyze tens of thousands of photos from trail cameras to understand wildlife movement in Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe. Dozens of skilled volunteers of The Living Desert have been deftly documenting each wildlife occurrence in the images to inform efforts to conserve the painted dog and other wildlife in Zambezi National Park. It has been a great way for volunteers to learn about African wildlife and directly contribute to conservation, even under our current stay-at-home orders.

change intervention based on the survey data. Preliminary results suggest that the intervention has reduced Zimbabwean drivers’ speeds! However, there are motorists from four other countries in the area who have not been as responsive. Determining how to address them directly is the future focus. Last, and possibly most importantly, Painted Dog Research Trust has helped us transform conservation in the region by hosting The Living Desert’s Zimbabwe-based social science training workshop last November. The workshop called “Building Community Conservation Success” involved a group of 24 researchers from five countries! We will continue to support the workshop participants as they develop and implement their projects. We predict that expansion of this training program will be one of the greatest legacies and impacts we will have through The Living Desert, by transforming conservation internationally. Our adorable pack of 19 African wild dogs is an opportunity for us to learn more about this incredible species. They inspire us to take action to help ensure that the species continues to exist naturally in the wild. We hope you are similarly inspired to help.

We have also helped Painted Dog Research Trust reduce wildlife death due to road collisions by working to reduce the average vehicle speed along the Kasane-Victoria Falls highway running through Zambezi National Park. We have helped craft and implement a questionnaire, and designed the behavioral 15


helping wildlife HELPS HUMANS

Allen Monroe, President/CEO and Dr. James Danoff-Burg, Director of Conservation Engagement and Learning

As we write this, the United States and the

entire world is in the early stages of reacting to the COVID-19 virus. While this global pandemic has implications for a wide variety of issues, ranging from human health to the world economy, as conservation biologists, we look at it from a different perspective. Like many animal-borne viruses over the last 50 years, including the AIDS virus in the early 1970s, the Ebola virus in 1976, and SARS virus in 2002, this latest threat to human health and world order seems to have originated from the sale, processing, and consumption of wild animals in so-called “wet markets.” These markets are quite common in many countries around the world and are often the first place a field biologist will go when visiting a new location because you will see a wide cross section of the wild animals that are being extracted from the local area to be used foxpaws |


as food, pets, and fashion accessories. They have the nickname of “wet” because they trade in live animals, fresh meat, and other animal products; and, unlike the sanitary conditions behind the deli counter at your local grocery store, here there is an endless slop of blood, urine, feces, and animal body parts. The only efforts in cleaning are to scrape the mess into nearby trench drains, which then empty out into streets or fields. Furthermore, these "wet markets” are often part of the supply chain for the movement of endangered species into the black market as bushmeat or illegal pets. It is distressing to see the wild animals we love and are trying to protect abused, stressed, in ill health, and caged by the dozens in crates. Next these animals are smuggled as contraband through major shipping ports around the world, including LAX. And, this is where The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens plays a role. 16

The Living Desert was invited to be part of a new team of zoos, conservationists, law enforcement, state and federal wildlife agencies, politicians, and lawyers who are addressing the issue of illegal wildlife trafficking locally. The Southern California Confiscations Actions Network (SCCAN) met most recently in early March and The Living Desert has been among the leaders of the SCCAN. This Network will act as the template for the other ports across the United States, none of which currently have an effective way to cope with illegal wildlife trafficking.

Port of Long Beach, CA

The scope of the problem is daunting. For the Southern California ports, there are more than 30,000 declared animal shipments a year, of which only about 3% are inspected by Federal officials to ensure the animals are legally and ethically imported. The number of undeclared, illegal, and smuggled animals brought into California is presumed to be much greater. RoxAnna Breitigan, The Living Desert’s Director of Animal Care, has been co-leading the team addressing the daunting task of creating a plan to identify, rehome, and care for the illegally imported animals and plants that are confiscated by law enforcement. Dr. James Danoff-Burg, The Living Desert’s Director of Conservation Engagement and Learning, coleads the communications team responsible for sharing information across the network, recruiting new member organizations, and eventually leading behavioral-change campaigns to ensure that the public does not continue to create the demand for wildlife trafficking. Our colleagues at the San Diego Zoo lead the third team focused on legislative and legal responses to wildlife trafficking. We all have a role to play in stopping wildlife trafficking. Some things we can keep in mind include: being aware of where your pets are from, and if a desired pet is being shipped from overseas please reconsider; knowing where your food originates; using the Seafood Watch Guide available online to help make better choices; not buying bushmeat; taking care when purchasing clothes and objects using animal parts; and only buying from ethically sourced venues. We must address the problem of wildlife trafficking, for our health and the protection of wild animal populations. Let’s stop using wild animals for food, pets and fashion and we WILL reduce wildlife trafficking. If we do, then the world will be a better place for both people and animals. 17

ZOONEWS ZOO NEWS MEMBERSHIP MATTERS Every member matters! Your continued support over the last few months has been so meaningful to us here at The Living Desert. To express our gratitude for standing with us during our temporary closure, we are pleased to provide you with two different choices to address the time lost on your membership. The first option will allow you to extend your membership expiration date by the amount of days that The Living Desert was closed. Or, you can use this opportunity to give back and forego your extension, by choosing to donate your lost time to the Zoo. Either way we cannot wait to welcome you back to the Living Desert, and are so thankful for your continued support! SPRING BABIES IN BLOOM Although this Spring has gone differently than expected, Mother Nature continued to bring us joy through the births of new animals at the Zoo. Every birth is special, and we hope you can visit these newest additions very soon. The Living Desert proudly welcomed the births of:

• African wild dog – seven male and four female puppies born on January 18. • Serval – one male kitten born February 9. • Bighorn sheep – one male lamb born March 30 and one female lamb born April 4.

African Wild Dog Puppies

Dr. Goodnight & Bighorn Sheep Lamb

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Serval Kitten


TRIBUTE GARDEN HONORS LOVED ONES As The Living Desert wraps up its first halfcentury and moves on towards the next fifty years, we have consolidated most memorials and tributes into a central location in the Park. The new Tribute Garden is a serene portion of the Park located near the veterinary hospital, with permanent recognition panels beautifully displaying the names of the honorees. We encourage family and friends to visit this tranquil area located among butterfly-attracting plants and a soothing water feature; it is a very special place to honor and celebrate loved ones. For information about honoring someone in your life, contact or call (760) 346-5694 ext. 2166.

Tribute Garden

STYLIZED PANELS CELEBRATE DESERT FLORA AND FAUNA Have you noticed the beautiful new barrier panels as you pass The Living Desert along Portola Avenue? Through a generous donation from the Muriel Pollia Foundation, this section of fencing features many of the plants and animals found here at The Living Desert. “Our grounds offer a beautiful space for guests to connect with the amazing animals that call the desert home,” explains Allen Monroe, President/CEO, “and we wanted our community face along Portola Avenue to reflect what is inside the Park.” The current section, however, only panels about a quarter of the total fencing needs. The remainder will need to be completed through donations. If you would like to help us finish the project by sponsoring a panel, please contact the fundraising department at or call (760) 346-1483.

Stylized Panels on Portola Avenue


WILDFILE TRAVEL CLUB The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens Travel Club offers unique and memorable adventures that put you in the middle of the wild places we love, and face to face with the animals that call it home. All our trips are small groups settings and offer intimate, one of a kind experiences. You will travel with expert conservationist and wildlife interpreter Allen Monroe, President/CEO of The Living Desert. Our upcoming trips for 2021 include: Antartica

Antarctica - January 3 - 17, 2021 Botswana - October 2 - 13, 2021 Visit our website to see itineraries and pricing for each trip: Join The Living Desert Travel Club by calling Amy Crabb at (760) 340-4954 or email You will be invited to Travel Nights and receive “first dibs� opportunities on upcoming trips. We hope you can travel with us soon to experience your trip of a lifetime! Botswana

Book now, as space is limited!

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Tawny Frogmouth

Rock Wallaby

AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURES Although our original grand opening celebration was postponed, Australian Adventures is now complete and will be available to visit when the Zoo reopens. Walkabout with wallabies, sing with kookaburras, and explore the land down under. This immersive and exciting experience highlights many of Australia’s unique mammals, reptiles and birds. The Living Desert’s Australian Adventures is ready to welcome you!

PHASE 2: GROUNDBREAKING AND CONSTRUCTION NOTICE The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is excited to announce that Phase Two of the Crossroads of Conservation project is set to begin this Summer. 21

47900 Portola Ave. Palm Desert, CA 92260

we’re in this together.

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