Foxpaws Spring 2019

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board of trustees Chairman: Bill Appel * Treasurer: Larry Spicer * Secretary: Mary O. Cone * President/CEO & Assistant Secretary: Allen Monroe * Peggy Bernthal Susan E. Cooper * Marylynn Gladstein Harry M. Goldstein * Patti Grundhofer * Candace Holzgrafe H. Earl Hoover II Suz Hunt Sis Jackson * Michael Kiner * Janet Lanterman * Craig McCollam Jaishri Mehta Peter Scheer Dick Shalhoub * Bill Simpkins *

Desert Bigborn Sheep

BJ Skilling * Phillip K. Smith, Jr. Roger Snoble * Mary Lou Solomon * Sam Spinello * Nancy L. Stegehuis Van Tanner Brian Tobey Sandra Cooper Woodson * * Board of Directors PRESIDENT EMERITA Karen Sausman

ADVISORY COUNCIL City of Indian Wells – Mayor Ted Mertens City of Palm Desert – Mayor Susan Marie Weber Coachella Valley Water District – Jim Barrett and Anthony Bianco Wayne Connor Associates – Wayne Connor Greater Palm Springs CVB – Scott White and Davis Meyer Sabby Jonathan Bill Powers Judy Vossler Carol Wright

TRUSTEE EMERITUS Curt Ealy Sherman A. Smith LEGAL COUNSEL Brian S. Harnik Roemer & Harnik, LLC

ON THE COVER Amur Leopard FOXPAWS EDITORIAL STAFF Project Manager Erin Scott CONTRIBUTORS Emma Baldwin RoxAnna Breitigan Amy Crabb Dr. James Danoff-Burg Eileen Gill Sarah Greely May Guzman Michelle Moe Allen Monroe Jamie Sagmiller Emily Whaley Angela Woods


table of contents 01

From The President’s Desk


Saving Species Where They Live


Crossroads of Conservation: The Grand Opening Celebration


Australia - The Land Down Under


The Living Desert’s New Tribute Garden


Aloes in the Gardens


It’s Time to Talk Trash


Zoobilee 2019: Party in the Outback


16 ZooNews 19 Wild File 20 Events Calendar 21 Social Butterfly

FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK This winter we accomplished some important milestones for The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. In November, we opened Phase One of Crossroads of Conservation which provided muchneeded improvements in our ability to provide a premium guest experience. Improved ticketing, additional restrooms, more retail opportunities and a new Living Legacy Garden space all transformed and upgraded the Zoo entrance. Supported by our Pride of the Desert Capital Campaign, we are currently developing the blueprints and construction documents for Phase Two of Crossroads of Conservation. This new area, which is scheduled to open in the next few years, will feature new animal habitats for rhinoceros, lions and hyenas and help us protect these endangered species and tell their conservation stories. The Zoo’s former retail plant nursery space will see a new life as the future home for the deserts of Australia. This new animal habitat will open in the Fall of 2019 and feature an immersive and interactive walkthrough habitat with engaging animals like wallabies. In addition, the former entrance building and gift shop will be repurposed in the short-term as additional office and storage space. Your support of the conservation and education mission of The Living Desert has allowed us to prosper for the last five decades and has set us on a course for the next 50 years to continue telling the amazing stories of desert plants and animals from around the world. Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you the next time you visit The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.

Allen Monroe, President/CEO foxpaws |

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To paraphrase Edward Everett Hale, a 19th century author and clergyman, “we can do anything, but we cannot do everything.� Accordingly, when we are thoughtful and focused on the appropriatesized tasks, we can make amazing things happen. Our challenge is to determine how to choose those tasks. Over the last year, as the Director of Conservation, I have been privileged to lead a team that has designed and has begun to implement a conservation strategy that works for The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens and one that will lead us into the future. We are already a strong voice for conservation locally and among the 232 Association for Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions. In fact, The Living Desert was among the top 25% of all AZA member institutions in conservation spending by percentage! Peninsular Pronghorn

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Going forward, The Living Desert is focused on supporting around a dozen mid-sized conservation projects around the world. By narrowing our focus, we can offer a greater diversity of skills to


A SNAPSHOT OF OUR CONSERVATION INITIATIVES We work to save species where they live by conducting community-based conservation research that contributes to the protection of rhinos and other large mammals in South Africa by supporting the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit. These intrepid women have reduced poaching overall by almost 80% since they were founded. We did an in-depth study earlier this year that documented that the Mambas also improved people’s support for conservation when coupled with an education program. Mexican Wolf

each of these projects, including animal care, education, program and organizational evaluation, community-based conservation, facilities support, as well as staff time in the field. In addition, we can provide a much larger and more significant financial contribution to each, enabling The Living Desert to help these conservation organizations move from good to great. These are exciting times for The Living Desert as our efforts are clearer and more recognized. Institutions around the world are watching what we do, and many are following our lead. Thanks for all that you have done to help us save species. We all can be Agents of Conservation. Let’s continue to make this happen together.

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We work to save species by reintroducing them back into newly safe areas of their former habitats, such as with pronghorn antelope in Mexico and California. Our animal care team has worked in El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve in Baja California Sur to care for fawns and thereby contribute to the rapid growth of the insurance herd. In addition, our multiple institutional team will be reintroducing two subspecies of pronghorn into Southern California after nearly a century absence! We work to save species by restoring degraded habitat and preserving intact habitat across the Coachella Valley. The Living Desert has grown over 600 individual plants for out-planting in the Big Morongo Canyon this spring. Similarly, our volunteers and education staff lead the

care and maintenance of the 1,200+ acres of preserve through which our 5-mile hiking trail wends for the enjoyment of all who partake. We work to save species on grounds of The Living Desert by managing Species Survival Plans (SSP) and breeding records and recommendations for six species globally. For example, we are continuing our longterm involvement with bringing the Mexican Wolf back from the brink of extinction by coordinating the breeding of this animal across North America, many of which have been released into the wild. We work to save species in the Coachella Valley reducing our energy use and resource consumption, while also increasing our on-site composting, recycling, and solar production. We all have a role to play in reducing our ecological footprint! We work to save species all over the world by innovatively leading the education efforts for two species on behalf of all AZA institutions. Our Education team leads the effort to create and relate the story of cheetah conservation in southern Africa and our Animal Care team participates in creating giraffe education and outreach materials for use across the AZA.




On Friday, November 2, 2018, Rosie, the desert bighorn sheep, assisted lead donor, Patti Grundhofer, in cutting the ceremonial red ribbon to officially open the Patti and Jack Grundhofer Plaza. The Grundhofer’s visionary gift welcomes zoo guests with a stunning and memorable entrance into The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.

Rosie the Bighorn Sheep cuts the ribbon at Grand Opening ceremony.

Members, volunteers, donors, as well as elected officials all gathered for the grand opening of The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens’ largest capital project since its inception. The new entrance plazas and buildings complete the first phase of a threephase project. Fundraising is underway for Phase Two, which features expansive habitats for lions, rhinos, and hyenas--expanding our African habitats and introducing new endangered species to our care. A second ribbon was cut by The Living Desert’s Board Chairman, Bill Appel, and his wife, Suzan, for the new Suzan and Bill Appel Gift Shop. Joined by members of their family, Bill and Suzan, ceremonially cut the ribbon and made the first purchase from the new store that specializes in zoo gifts, memorabilia, and souvenirs. Guests celebrated the Grand Opening and explored the many features of the new entrance and mingled with many of the Zoo’s animal ambassadors.

We thank the donors who made this spectacular first phase possible, particularly: Patti and Jack Grundhofer, Suzan and Bill Appel, Connie and Bob Lurie, The City of Palm Desert, The City of Indian Wells, The Board of Trustees of The Living Desert and many others who are listed in a special honor roll in the new plaza.

Ribbon cutting ceremony

Ribbon cutting ceremony

Patti & Jack Grundhofer

Living Legacy Garden

Allen Monroe President/ CEO

Suzan & Bill Appel Gift Shop

Suzan & Bill Appel

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AUSTRALIA COMING TO THE DESERT NEAR YOU! By RoxAnna Breitigan, Director of Animal Care

The continent of Australia is known to be the driest inhabited continent in the world, technically having ten deserts. These deserts receive on average fewer than 250mm of rain per year creating very arid climates. Their summers also have very harsh temperatures which can create dangerous fire seasons. As we look closely at the deserts of Australia, it becomes apparent that we have a lot in common with them, including the diversity of animals and plants. In the coming year, The Living Desert is thrilled to be designing and building an immersive habitat that will bring guests into the Australian desert, here at the Zoo. The animal residents of The Living Desert are the ultimate ambassadors for their wild counterparts and these new animals will assist in educating and fostering connections with the land down under. Located in the former plant nursery, this reimagined space will be transformed into an immersive and engaging walk-through habitat, where you may come across a wallaby lounging on the grass ahead of you, see an emu walk in front of you or have a kookaburra fly

above you. This new habitat will send you on an adventure, engage all the senses and inspire a sense of wonder. Australia has some of the most unique animals on the planet. Wallaby. Echidna. Emu. Crikey! Wallabies are a marsupial, which means they have a pouch, in which their young can crawl into and develop after birth. Their young will live in that pouch for several months and will even return to it once they are grown if they fear danger. An echnida, also known as spiny anteater, is actually a mammal. However, it is a very different kind of mammal; it is only one of the three monotremes in the world, which is a mammal that lay eggs. The emu is the second largest bird on the planet, second only to the ostrich. This majestic bird is flightless, but an excellent runner; they have been clocked at running up to 30 mph for quite a distance. These are just a few examples of the uniqueness that the Australian animal world has to offer and that you may encounter! This new habitat will allow us to highlight animals that guests can interact with, while we share important conservation stories. Topics like climate change, invasive species and water affect all of us, no matter what side of the planet we live on. Animals like bouncing wallabies, prickly echidna, flightless emu and others will help us connect with guests so we can share the majesty of the world’s deserts and tell another desert of the world story. This will allow us to illustrate, in one more way, how we are all connected and how each decision we make impacts us all.


A PLACE TO HONOR YOUR LOVED ONES As we approach our 50th anniversary we reflect on how much we’ve grown and how we should go forward. The Zoo’s leadership has been engaged in an active park master planning process to help set the course for the next 20-30 years. After reviewing opportunities for guests to honor and recognize loved ones or memorable occasions, we are delighted to unveil a wonderful way to remember the special people or events in your life and at the same time help us continue our mission to save endangered desert species locally and worldwide. The new Tribute Garden, located in front of the Tennity Wildlife Hospital and Conservation Center, is set in a serene garden setting with a soothing water feature, flowering plants and reflection benches. Personalized tiles can honor an outstanding accomplishment, recognize a special occasion, or memorialize a loved one who has passed. Recognition in the Tribute Garden is an unrestricted donation to The Living Desert of $1,000 or more. These lasting gifts help to sustain general zoo operations, provide exceptional animal

care, and continue garden maintenance. Also located in the new Tribute Garden are the many donor and honoree names that were on existing recognition signs throughout the park. These important donors and honorees can now be permanently viewed on enduring panels as part of the new historical section of the Tribute Garden. Having a central Tribute Garden allows us to meet our new master plan that outlines a clean, open setting with minimal signage except those related to our flora and fauna. Over the years, the harsh desert weather and elements have taken a toll on the original materials - the tiles and plaques are fading and much of the wood has deteriorated. The remaining tiles and plaques throughout The Living Desert will eventually be removed because all donor and honoree names can now be viewed in one convenient location in a beautiful setting.

For more information on placing a tribute tile in the new Tribute Garden, please contact us at (760) 346-5694 ext. 2166 or by email at


ALOES IN THE GARDENS By James Sagmiller, Collections Gardener

Dawe’s aloe Aloe dawei

Winter is a great time of year to visit The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens to see beautiful blooms of our aloe plants. aloe We hold more than 100 species of Aloe, representing desert regions in Africa, Madagascar and the Arabian Peninsula. A large number of these species bloom in late fall, winter and early spring. Flower colors include red, pink, salmon, orange, yellow, white, or a combination of two or even three of these colors. Leaf color varies with species; grey, blue-grey, green, or dark green, striped in shades of green, or spotted with white. Many species change color in winter or under drought or cold stress, often turning red, or purple or chocolate brown. Some have prominent “teeth” on their leaves, adding interest and beauty.

Kokerboom, Aloe dichotoma

Aloes come in many diverse forms as well, from small, grass-like plants four inches tall to tree-like specimens reaching 60 feet. Their general growth habit varies so much that most modern accounts place them into groups for identification and landscape placement. The Aloe Garden, in the Africa section of The Living Desert, beautifully displays aloe of various types. There are several specimens of large tree-

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like aloes, Aloidendron dichotomum (Aloe dichotoma), the Quiver Tree or Kokerboom. In its native habitat, the north-western desert of South Africa, the San people make quivers for their arrows out of hollowed stems of this plant. Near the Quiver trees is an impressive specimen of Aloidendron ramosissimum (Aloe ramosissima), a more shrub-like tree aloe from an isolated desert area of northwest South Africa and southern Namibia. The tallest specimen of aloe in our gardens is an Aloe speciosa, a single-stemmed aloe with beautiful, red flowers that fade to greenish-white. This aloe is known as the Tilt-Head aloe because it usually tilts its crown toward the sun, or the most available light if in shade. Several young Aloe speciosa plants are placed around the African Aviary. Adjacent to the aviary is the East Africa Garden, with more than 20 species of rare aloes. All are very beautiful and several bloom in our winter months. In the Madagascar Garden are aloe species native to that great island. Some of these are low-growing stemless plants, such as Aloe capitata and Aloe bulbillifera, or single-stemmed, tall-growing plants such as Aloe divaricata and Aloe vaombe. The last species has spectacular scarlet flowers that bloom in winter.

beautiful foliage is marked with white teeth or spines. The medicinal aloe, Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) has been cultivated for thousands of years. It is thought to be native to the Arabian Peninsula and was grown extensively in North Africa and the island of Socotra in ancient times. The ancient Greek scholar Dioscorides described the plant and its uses in The Greek Herbal of Dioscorides about A.D. 78. He recommends it for coagulating blood on wounds, as a laxative and for problems of the gums and mouth. Today Aloe vera is commonly used as an ingredient in cosmetics. At The Living Desert, we grow plants of this aloe along the African Walk and in the Aloe garden. It is a stemless aloe that spreads easily and has yellow flowers. Most aloes require little water to thrive and that makes them a valuable addition to desert gardens. They are often quite architectural plants with beautiful foliage and flowers that are very attractive to hummingbirds. Most species require good drainage, sandy loam soil and light shade to full sun. Some species are from areas with summer rain, and others from areas with winter rain, so it is best to do a bit of research before planting in a home garden. Visiting our gardens is a good opportunity to see how aloes grow, and how different varieties look when planted together.

The new Living Legacy Garden near the entrance has 16 varieties of aloe. Aloe brevifolia is a small, stemless species that can be seen here in bloom in winter and early spring. Its flowers are red or rarely, yellow; the

Coral aloe, Aloe striata

Kokerboom, Aloe dichotoma 9


IT’S TIME TO TALK TRASH By Sarah Greely, Field Conservation Coordinator Emma Baldwin, Wildlife Rehab Keeper

Desert Tortoise

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Spring weather and warmer temperatures will soon be upon us here in the Coachella Valley. As we spend more time outside, enjoying our stunning ecosystem, desert tortoises are quietly brumating – getting in their winter sleep! They’ve spent the last two to three months sleeping underground, in a state of reptilian hibernation. However, they will soon begin to emerge from their brumation, usually in mid-February. Given this impending time of increased tortoise activity, there is a greater chance of an encounter with a desert tortoise. It can be confusing to know what to do if you encounter a desert tortoise, but our wildlife rehabilitation specialist, Emma Baldwin, put together this quick guide to help you take the right steps.

Where did you find the tortoise? In a yard, neighborhood, or developed area: Most likely the tortoise is someone’s escaped pet. You should: • Ask around and put up “Found Tortoise” fliers in the area. • E-mail photos of the tortoise to (include front, side, and top-views, along with a ruler for size reference). The Living Desert can verify the tortoise species and provide information to you until the owner can be located. If an owner cannot be located after a few days, contact California Turtle & Tortoise Club at

In the open desert, or while hiking: Wild desert tortoises may be found in natural desert areas, including in the Coachella Valley. If the tortoise is uninjured, leave it alone, as each wild tortoise is important to the population. In fact, it is illegal to remove desert tortoises from the wild. If you suspect the tortoise is injured, contact The Living Desert at (760) 568-2330 for advice before moving the tortoise.

And since we’re talking about helping out the desert tortoise, we think it’s ‘Time to Talk Trash!’ravens and trash, that is! Ravens can often be seen picking through open trash bins for our waste and leftovers. The common raven (Corvus corax) is the largest member of the crow family, and a species renowned for its intelligence, but ravens are not a welcome sight for the desert tortoise. Ravens are opportunistic omnivores, taking advantage of whatever food source is available – lately that means young desert tortoises! Tortoise biologists have known ravens pose a major threat to the survival of the desert tortoise, but they have struggled to effectively convey this message to the public, so they asked The Living Desert for help! The Living Desert established the Healthy Desert Education Project which features educational campaigns and initiatives that promote healthy desert ecosystems. Time to Talk Trash is the inaugural focus for the project and points to the problem of open trash containers providing subsidies to ravens and contributing to their overpopulation in the Mojave Desert. So tell your friends, family and neighbors – It’s Time to Talk Trash!

Desert Tortoise



The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens 10th Annual

at the zoo


Saturday, February 9th 6:30-9:30pm

NEW! - 10+ Food Trucks* Beer, Wine & Spirits Tastings Live Entertainment Animal Encounters

MEMBER $60 | NON-MEMBER $65 21+ only event; must present valid photo I.D. for admittance. Ticket covers beverage tastings, entertainment and animal encounters. Prices increase day of event. *Food is available for purchase.

in palm desert


the world’s wild places with The Living Desert Travel Club

Gain a different perspective when you travel with us! The Living Desert Travel Club offers unique and memorable travel opportunities showcasing stunning destinations and luxury accommodations. Led by expert guides, your adventure will be the experience of a lifetime.

Next adventure! Namibia Spring 2019 The Living Desert Travel Club offers exclusive access to expertly led travel opportunities LIVI NG E H around the world. T








Join today! (760) 340-4954


Zoobilee 2019:

Party in the

Outback The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens’ 26th Annual Zoobilee Gala will take place March 2, 2019. We are going Down Under with a Party in the Outback in celebration of our new Australian habitat opening in late 2019. The Down Under evening will commence with music, a cocktail party and silent auction in the new Living Legacy Gardens, followed by dinner, entertainment and a live auction. There will, of course, be adventurous encounters with charismatic animals along the way. All proceeds benefit the care of our animals and gardens, conservation and preservation efforts of desert species locally and globally, and education and outreach efforts to nearly 500,000 annual visitors. The Living Desert is the Coachella Valley’s only zoo and botanical garden, and was named USAToday Reader’s Choice Top10 Zoo, as well as among the 10 Best Zoos in the Nation by Condé Nast Traveler. Your zoo is also recognized as one of the top 1% of all attractions in the US by Trip Advisor. Zoobilee Gala tickets are $500/ guest and are on sale now. Underwriting and sponsorship opportunities and Zoobilee Gala program ads and tributes are selling fast. To learn more about these support and marketing opportunities, please contact Greg Murphy at (760) 346-9584 or email


ZOOBILEE GALA Saturday, March 2, 2019 5:30 - 8:30pm HONORING

Patti and Jack Grundhofer Cocktails, Silent & Live Auctions Dinner & Entertainment Complimentary Valet Parking Outback Chic Attire At The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

TICKETS $500 For tickets, table sponsorships & event underwriting opportunities, please contact Greg Murphy at (760) 346-9584 or



G’day! Please join us on a fair dinkum evening of spirited beverages, Aussie entertainment, auction opportunities, Saturday, 2, 2019 Down Under dining and, of course, animalMarch encounters.



TITLE SPONSOR Harold Matzner and Shellie Reade DIAMOND SPONSOR Peggy and Hal Bernthal PLATINUM SPONSOR Joy and Harry Goldstein Candace and Jon Holzgrafe JoAnn McGrath GOLD SPONSOR Sharon and Dean Baltzell Donna MacMillan

Patti and Jack Grundhofer BRONZE SPONSOR INVITATION PATRON Cocktails, Silent & Live Auctions, Suzan and Bill Dinner Appel & Entertainment, Union Bank | The Private Bank Greater Palm Springs Convention Complimentary ValetHOTEL Parking and Visitors Bureau PATRON Karen Miles Attire: Outback Chic Hotel Paseo Lu Barnes At The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens “RAISE THE PAW” PADDLE PATRON MEDIA SPONSOR TICKETS $500 Aristotle Capital Management, Palm Springs Life For tickets, table sponsorships & event underwriting LLC The Desert Sun

opportunities, please contact Greg Murphy at (760) 346-9584 or


PHOTO PATRON J. Squire Junger

WINE PATRON Walkabout with us on a fair dinkum evening of spirited SILVER SPONSOR Dick Shalhoub Jan Salta beverages, Aussie entertainment, auction opportunities, BJ and Van Skilling Down Under dining and, of course, animal encounters. Bright Event Rentals


BRONZE SPONSORS Suzan and Bill Appel PRESENTING GreaterHONORARY Palm Springs CHAIRS Convention & Visitors Bureau Harold Matzner and Shellie Reade

2 0 1 9 GHONORARY A L A CCHAIRS OMMITTEE Lu Barnes Dennis Flaig CO-CHAIRS Judy Esterbrook Helene Galen and JamieFlaig Kabler Jon-Marc Blalock Dennis Dodi and Kevin Henry Nancy Stegehuis Marylynn Gladstein Donna MacMillan Kim Hansele JoAnn McGrath Karen Alciatore Jan Harnik Suzan Appel Mark Hersh Erica Espinola Candace Holzgrafe foxpaws |

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COCKTAIL RECEPTION PATRON Shirley Smith Jan Salta Lori and Aubrey Serfling WINE PATRON Dick Shalhoub Dick Shalhoub CO-CHAIRS Jon-Marc Blalock Nancy Stegehuis

Peggy Karcher Karen Alciatore JanetAppel Lanterman Suzan Erica Espinola Jaishri Mehta Judy Esterbrook Davis Meyer Dennis Flaig Jneil Nelson Sharon O’Donnell Nick Raab

MEDIA SPONSOR Palm Springs Life

Marylynn Gladstein Dick Shalhoub Jan Harnik Mary Lou Solomon HOTEL PATRON Mark Hersh Hotel PaseoJohn Southorn Candace Holzgrafe Patty Spicer Peggy Karcher Carla Sullivan-Dilley Janet Lanterman Donna Ward Jaishri Mehta Julie Williamson Meyer Sandy Woodson NancyDavis Rosenthal Julie Williamson Jneil Nelson Dick Shalhoub Sandy Woodson Frank Goldstin Sharon O’Donnell Momentous Events Mary Lou Solomon Nick Raab John Southorn Frank Goldstin Nancy Rosenthal

Patty Spicer Carla Sullivan-Dilley Donna Ward

Momentous Events


ZOONEWS ZOO NEWS STEAM LEARNING AT THE ZOO! STEAM Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math = Wonderfully Wild Learning at the Zoo! STEAM is an approach to learning that encourages student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The aim is to create students who are engrossed in the process – understanding the ‘why’ and not just reciting an answer - readily making connections that enable them to push the process forward through experiential learning, collaboration and problem solving. This results in learners who are enthusiastically curious, and excited by the wonder of discovery. A trip to The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens has always been about meaningful experiences and making

connections to the world around us. Incorporating STEAM in our activities for Field Trip and ZooCamp participants helps them connect what they learn and their experiences here to the worlds of science, technology, engineering and math – we also incorporate art, since creative thinking is paramount to innovation! For the second year, we are offering STEM/STEAM Group Field Trip Days for Scout and Home School Groups, as well as STEAM activities for school groups visiting the park on a traditional field trip. For more information on STEM/STEAM programs, email SchoolFieldTrips@LivingDesert. org.

WILDLIGHTS 2018 The 26th Annual WildLights delighted over 30,000 guests this holiday season with new light displays, expanded pathways, and family favorites. Generously presented by the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, WildLights showcased the new Zoo

entrance and brought to life the holiday spirit for all of our guests. The Living Desert is grateful for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation’s continued support of this beloved holiday tradition.

THE LIVING DESERT HOSTS TWO INTERNATIONAL MEETINGS In October, The Living Desert hosted the 2018 Zoo Registrar’s Association (ZRA) annual conference. Over 90 zoological registrars from around the world attended the conference for continuing education and networking with colleagues.

ZRA Conference

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WildLights 2018

To cap-off the week-long conference proceedings, The Living Desert hosted a special Zoo Day with amazing animal encounters, tours, chats and a party at the zoo. Zoo registrars play an essential role in zoological operations, as they serve as the record-keeper for all of the animals in their facilities. In November, The Living Desert hosted Cheetah Conservation Fund’s (CCF) annual fall Board of Directors meeting. The Living Desert has partnered with and supported the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s initiatives in Namibia to reduce human wildlife conflict between farmers and cheetahs using Anatolian Shephard dogs.

The Living Desert is honored to have been recognized for recent accomplishments. And, the Zoo thanks all of you for your ongoing support! Charity Navigator: The coveted 4-star rating was awarded to The Living Desert by Charity Navigator, for the third year in a row. The highest rating available recognizes excellence in fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. W3 Technology Awards: The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens Mobile App and Audio Tour won the Silver Award for Best Use of GPS/Location Technology in Mobile Features and Mobile Apps Augmented Reality

TripAdvisor: Certificate of Excellence 2018 Palm Springs Life’s Best Of the Best Awards: Palm Desert Attraction

Palm Desert Kid-friendly Attraction Palm Desert Wedding Venue Palm Desert Fundraising Event: Brew at the Zoo The Desert Sun’s Best of the Valley Awards: Best Local Landmark Best Place to Take the Kids

As part of The Living Desert’s ongoing effort to make smart conservation decisions, foxpaws is now printed on 30% post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled paper. The Living Desert is committed to reducing our footprint, sharing conservation action steps and inspiring our guests to help do their part. Every choice, even the small ones, can add up to a big difference and big impact.

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WILDFILE WINEMAKER’S EVENT SERIES The Living Desert’s Winemaker’s Series kicks off in January. Returning by popular demand, our exclusive, membersonly Winemaker’s Series are held from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at various venues throughout the zoo. Don’t miss this curated opportunity to enjoy some of the best wines, paired with chef’s culinary delights. These events will sell out. Tickets are now on sale at or by calling (760) 3465694 ext. 2128. Individual event: $150 | Series of four events: $525 January 17, 2019 – Dry Creek Vineyard February 14, 2019 – Domaine Drouhin March 21, 2019 – Shannon Ridge Winery April 18, 2019 – Orin Swift BREW AT THE ZOO | SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9 Celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Living Desert’s Brew at the Zoo in Palm Desert on February 9 from 6:30-9:30pm! Beverage vendors will sample craft beer, wines, and specialty spirits. New this year, 10 food trucks will be rolling in to sell delicious food offerings throughout the evening. Experience multiple stages of live entertainment, animal encounters, and mingle amongst the animals of Africa. The Brew at the Zoo VIP Lounge will feature early event admission, open bar, specialty food offerings, live entertainment and an exclusive lounge with casino-style game, as well as admission into the general event. Pre-Sale*: Member $60 | Non-member $65 VIP Tickets: $150 | Designated Driver: $25 Brew at the Zoo is a 21+ only event; attendees must present valid photo I.D. for admittance. *GA ticket includes beverage samplings, entertainment, and animal encounters. Food is available for purchase. Ticket price increases day of the event.

PRIVATE SAFARI TOURS Private Safaris and Behind-the-Scenes tours are a memorable way to experience The Living Desert. Aboard your private shuttle, your tour guide will offer a curated experience and delight you with informative stops as you make your way around the zoo. You’ll make stops at all the major habitats, walk-through the Tennity Wildlife Hospital, and have an exclusive viewing of our Amur Leopard. All tours are based on availability and must be scheduled in advance. Private safaris require a 48-hour lead time, and behind-the-scenes tours require 12 day lead time. Book your private tour today by calling (760) 346-5694 ext. 2123. foxpaws |

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FRIDAY, 1 Starry Safari 5:00 pm – 9:00 am

THURSDAY, 14 Winemaker’s Dinner Series 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

TUESDAY, 19 Volunteer Appreciation Dinner 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

SATURDAY, 16 Fairytales & Frogs Day 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

MAR 2019

THURSDAY, 17 Winemaker’s Dinner Series 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

WEDNESDAYS: 6, 13, 20, 27 Me and You at the Zoo 9:00 am – 10:00 am Me and You at the Garden 10:00 am – 10:30 am

SATURDAY, 16 Brunch with Kirk, Curator of Gardens 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

FRIDAY, 1 Starry Safari 5:00 pm – 9:00 am SATURDAY, 2 Zoobilee Gala – Party in the Outback 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

THURSDAY, 13 Members Only Bird Walk 7:30 am – 9:30 am

WEDNESDAYS: 6, 13, 20, 27 Me and You at the Zoo 9:00 am – 10:00 am Me and You at the Garden 10:00 am – 10:30 am

SATURDAY, 9 Brew at the Zoo 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

THURSDAY, 13 Members Only Bird Walk 7:30 am – 9:30 am

Me and You in the Garden

THURSDAY, 21 Winemaker’s Dinner Series 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm SATURDAY, 30 Brunch with Wildlife Programs 10:00 am – 12:00 pm WEDNESDAYS: 3, 10, 17, 24 Me and You at the Zoo 9:00 am – 10:00 am Me and You at the Garden 10:00 am – 10:30 am

Easter Eggstravaganza

APR 2019

JAN 2019

SATURDAY, 12 Brunch at the Zoo 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

FEB 2019


FRIDAY, 5 Starry Safari 4:00 pm – 9:00 am THURSDAY, 12 Members Only Bird Walk 7:30 am – 9:30 am


MONDAY, 15 Spring ZooCamp 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

MONDAY, 22 Earth Day 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

TUESDAY, 16 Spring ZooCamp 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

TUESDAY, 23 Spring ZooCamp 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

WEDNESDAY, 17 Spring ZooCamp 8:30 am – 12:00 pm THURSDAY, 18 Spring ZooCamp 8:30 am – 12:00 pm THURSDAY, 18 Winemaker’s Dinner Series 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

WEDNESDAY, 24 Spring ZooCamp 8:30 am – 12:00 pm


SATURDAY, 20 Eggstravaganza 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

THURSDAY, 25 Spring ZooCamp 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

Starry Safari

FRIDAY, 26 Spring ZooCamp 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

SOCIALBUTTERFLY SOCIAL BUTTERFLY We love seeing how our members spend their time at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, whether it’s at a “members only” event, or just a fun day at the zoo. When you tag a photo on social media that features The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens with the hashtag #TLDmember, we notice! Share your photos and experiences while you’re at The Living Desert. Use #TLDmember in your post, and you may see your photo in the next issue of foxpaws! For more information, please visit We can’t wait to hear from you!

foxpaws |

SPR ING 2019




CALL FOR YOUR TREASURES In 2020, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. Are you among those 5,000 people who visited The Living Desert Reserve that year? Is your very first membership card in a box somewhere? Do you have photos of early visits to The Living Desert? We are looking for unusual memorabilia to mark the decades of The Living Desert’s growth. If you have interesting stories or souvenirs of The Living Desert, would you be willing to share with us? We plan to digitize materials to compile a visual panorama celebrating 50 years in 2020. If you have materials to share, please email or call (760) 346-5694. We will make all attempts to return original materials, if you request, but it cannot be guaranteed. Help tell The Living Desert’s history!

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