Foxpaws Fall 2020

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W onde rfull y Wild


board of trustees

FALL 2020

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 Judy Vossler Carol Wright

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

ON THE COVER Mexican Wolf FOXPAWS EDITORIAL STAFF Project Manager Rachael Inciarte Designer Olivia Luna

American Badger

CONTRIBUTORS RoxAnna Breitigan Cynthia Buckner Christian Burrell Justin Carmichael Amy Crabb Dr. James Danoff-Burg May Guzman Jan Hawkins Rachael Inciarte Allen Monroe Alex Ocañas Lexi Ward Angela Woods

FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK We had hoped that the most memorable thing about 2020

would be the celebration for the 50th anniversary of the founding of The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Little could we have known that a virus, 1/625th the diameter of a human hair, could have affected all our lives and closed the Park, at least temporarily. So, while the first 50 years is now in the rearview mirror, it is time to focus on the next 50 years.


table of contents 03

From the President’s Desk


International Desert Conservation Summit


Geckos in the Desert


Engaging Local Restaurants in Raven Population Reduction


Monthly Giving


Become a Community Scientist


12 Volunteers 12

Virtual Education


Spotlight on Supporters


Crossroads of Conservation: Rhino Savanna Construction


Ways to Give

16 ZooNews 18 WildFile

In going through one of the most challenging situations the Park has faced, we came to realize that The Living Desert has a strong foundation and the resilience to adapt to changing circumstances. While the Park was closed for 3 months, our Team put into place a comprehensive plan allowing us to safely reopen and protect the health of our guests, staff and animals. It is a great feeling to be able to welcome visitors back into the Park and share the stories of how we can work together to protect the desert plants and animals we all love. While the Park was closed to guests, our essential conservation mission continued. The Living Desert staff was still out there at night surveying for the endangered Casey’s June Beetle, building new refugia for insurance populations of Desert Pupfish here on the grounds and conducting Zoom meetings to train Park Rangers in Botswana on Community Conservation Engagement. Even without guests, our desert education mission continued through Facebook Live broadcasts and virtual summer camps were a big hit (although watching virtual Smores melt was not the same). This fall with most school districts having combination online and on-campus programs, The Living Desert will be providing virtual field trips where our Education Department provides curated expeditions through our animal habitats and behind the scenes so we can share the conservation stories of the plants and animals that call the desert home. Looking towards our future, The Living Desert will continue to adapt to any challenges so that we can fulfill our mission of desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation. For now, we are glad to offer our community a safe place to visit and appreciate nature. And to paraphrase country music singer, Mac Davis, …”happiness is the corona virus in my rearview mirror.”

Allen Monroe, President/CEO foxpaws |

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the living desert hosts the international desert conservation summit By Dr. James Danoff-Burg, Director of Conservation Engagement and Learning

As a global leader in desert conservation, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens will have

the honor of hosting The International Desert Conservation Summit, a significant gathering of experts from around the globe focused on saving deserts and the animals, plants, and communities which call them home. Due to the global pandemic, our first ever Summit will occur online. This change benefits our larger conservation community because it enables a wider audience to participate, irrespective of where in the world they may be! The Living Desert is committed to the care and conservation of desert plants, animals, and ecosystems—a unique dedication among zoos. For many, The Living Desert is an initial introduction to the intrinsic beauty of the desert, who may have, until then, considered deserts as desolate areas devoid of biodiversity. Ironically, as our members and partner organizations know, this could not be farther from the truth! One-third of the planet’s land surface is desert-covered, and many tens of thousands of species are found only in desert ecosystems! As an organization, we seek to change public opinion regarding the value of deserts. We strive to tell desert conservation stories and moreover to explain why these lands, plants, and animals deserve our protection, and how to achieve it. To get our message out, we currently partner with over 50 conservation organizations on 35 projects in 10 countries around the world. To make the greatest impact, we work in areas of capacity building, community-based projects, animal care, education and engagement campaigns, and evaluation. The International Desert Conservation Summit, which is scheduled to occur on November 14, 2020, is an extension of that vital conservation work. To garner exposure, we are asking for our Zoo members and visitors’ help and participation to make it a success! Everyone’s involvement counts in order to make sustainable change, and we invite you to join us on this journey. Make time to attend the online conference to hear more about the work being done in desert conservation both locally and abroad. As we are seeking bright-minded leaders who will save our beloved deserts, we will be bestowing monetary Desert Conservation Prizes to the most innovative and impactful programs. Additionally, we will be hosting a Desert Short Video Contest, in which select conservationists will share their stories. To choose a winner, we will be asking the public’s input on the most compelling video story, so don’t forget to watch the videos in advance and vote for your favorites. Share the news about The International Desert Conservation Summit, visit for more details, and please participate on November 14th! 5

Chinese Cave Gecko

GECKOS IN THE DESERT: A WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING STORY By Rachael Inciarte, Marketing Assistant and RoxAnna Breitigan, Director of Animal Care

For 50 years The Living Desert has been

home to many different desert animals from all over the world. This summer though, we became the caretakers of a curious little species from another kind of ecosystem. 18 Chinese cave geckos (Goniurosaurus hainanensis) found a place among the sand and Saguaros, beneath the bright sun of the Coachella Valley. These geckos originate from the Southern regions of China—the wet lowlands and rainforests—and are native to the island of Hainan. The Zoo was charged with their very specialized care in early summer, each tiny gecko measured only about 3 inches long, and weighed around 1 gram—the weight of a single paperclip! They are nocturnal, sleeping most of the day on top of one another in piles like puppies. A steady diet of crickets and roaches no bigger than grains of rice keeps them fed. Their preferred environment is cool, dark, and damp, so the animal care staff here maintains their tanks at specific temperature ranges of between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit, and an incredible 50-88 percent humidity. Their foxpaws |

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habitat also includes coconut bark, a substance known for its moisture retention. Happily, in the few months that the geckos have been in our care, they have thrived. They now weigh between 2-4 grams, doubling to quadrupling their weight, and which are huge gains for such small animals! Soon, they should be old enough for the veterinarians to sex them, telling us how many of the 18 geckos are female or male. However, these geckos are currently living behind-thescenes, and because of their unique environmental needs cannot be out on habitat here at The Living Desert. After our triage of care, we will work to find them permanent homes in other Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) facilities. But, how and why did 18 Chinese cave geckos end up in a desert in Southern California in the first place? This, unfortunately, is a story of wildlife trafficking. Surprisingly, reptiles like the Chinese cave gecko are among the most widely trafficked animals in 6

the world. In many instances they are captured in their native habitats, then trafficked for the pet trade. This summer when The Living Desert received the call from U.S. Fish and Wildlife about the geckos, we rushed to make sure we had the supplies to care for them. The geckos were most likely confiscated from an international shipping port—either at an airport like Los Angeles International Airport, or seaport such as the Port of Los Angeles—before the agent transported them to the Zoo. Their transfer was carefully documented, and then we became the caretakers of 18 finger-sized geckos from China. Most of these confiscated animals’ origin stories are mysteries. It is estimated that wildlife agents catch less than 10% of illegally trafficked wildlife materials. The agents are dedicated, but the workload is often overwhelming. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens has, for years, been involved in the important work to stop wildlife trafficking both in Southern California and worldwide. In August of 2019 we expanded our efforts, as members from our animal care and conservation teams were invited to participate in the first Southern California Wildlife Confiscation Network Summit. The Summit was hosted by San Diego Zoo and sponsored by San Diego Zoo Global, The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and AZA’s Wildlife Trafficking Alliance. The group leverages their expertise and information on wildlife trafficking, with the goal of creating a plan-of-action for law enforcement wildlife special agents in the field. This will save everyone valuable time, and help agents take clear and defined steps when they discover illegal animals at ports. While COVID-19 temporarily interrupted in-person meetings, the group plans to resume their work at the upcoming Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Annual Conference, being held virtually September 14-18, 2020. In the story of the 18 illegally trafficked Chinese cave geckos, The Living Desert was able to step in and help give them a happier ending—a chance at a thriving life. As a community, we need to rewrite the tale of wildlife trafficking together. Each day at The Living Desert, we are working toward a new chapter—one that includes a safer, more sustainable world without any wildlife trafficking in it.

YOU CAN HELP STOP WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING! The U.S. is one of the world’s top importers of illegal wildlife. As a country, we must stop our own demand for these harmful goods by becoming informed consumers. Blaming other parts of the world that supply us is not helpful, because that will not end the cycle of wildlife trafficking. • When traveling, choose not to purchase ‘exotic’ items made with illegal materials like tortoise shell and coral. Products made with trafficked wildlife and openly sold in international markets are illegal to bring through U.S. customs. Even seemingly benign objects may have harmful origins. • Learn product origins and buy ethically sourced materials! When purchasing goods like oil, coffee, and wood, ask: How did this product arrive to market? Who produced, crafted, or harvested it? When I pay for this item, where is my money going? For a list of sustainable products, consider visiting and • Support organizations that work to end wildlife trafficking. The Living Desert partners with organizations both locally and internationally to stop poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. We are proud to aid the work of the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit in South Africa, the Wild Nature Institute’s Celebrating Nature’s Giants project in Tanzania, and to help lead the Association of Zoos and Aquariums AZA Vaquita SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction program close to home in Baja California.


engaging local restaurants in raven population reduction By Alex OcaĂąas, Conservation Social Scientist

The Living Desert is excited to publicly commend over 30

restaurants in Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley with a Gold Star Award! This achievement is earned by businesses that demonstrate the sustainable practice of consistently closing their dumpsters to protect the local community and wildlife. We are glad to honor their commitment to keeping our desert home clean, healthy, and thriving! The Gold Star Award was established as a conservation incentive to reduce the unnaturally large numbers of ravens now in Southern California. Ravens have proliferated around our human developments because we are indiscriminately providing food, water, and nesting resources. The inflated raven populations can decimate native wildlife—the threatened and iconic desert tortoise in particular. Open dumpsters and trashcans provide an especially reliable food source, which is where we have chosen to focus our efforts thus far. In late 2019 The Living Desert engaged 60 restaurants in Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley in a scientific study, in partnership with Southern California Edison, to assess if an awareness and action to deter raven overpopulation would result in more frequently closed dumpsters. Results indicate an average 13% increase in dumpster closure among restaurants who received communications, representing an astounding 47 more days per year with closed dumpsters! Clearly, betterinformed business owners make more eco-conscious choices. Consumers are more eager than ever to support ethical businesses exhibiting good corporate social responsibility practices. A Gold Star Award demonstrates an interest in resolving wider social and ecological issues. We hope that these restaurants will become standards for excellence in their communities, and we look forward to congratulating these businesses on this important conservation award!

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Desert Tortoise


BECOME A HERO OF THE MONTH – EVERY MONTH! By Lexi Ward, Annual Giving Officer

The Living Desert has been fortunate to receive

an outpouring of community support over the past several months. We are especially thankful to our Champions of Conservation, a monthly donor program dedicated to helping us maintain a consistent source of income, which provides regularly needed resources to care for our plants and animals.

Carmen Rawe & Carlotta Flink

We welcome two new Champions: sisters Carlotta Flink and Carmen Rawe, who have been supporting the Zoo in many ways for 18 years. They agreed, “There is something so special about The Living Desert. You’re inclined to give where you feel that connection. And we wanted to provide ongoing support…even when we aren’t able to visit.”

Any amount is appreciated, and immediately impactful. These regular donations can feed an animal for the whole month:

$10afeeds snake

$25 feeds a

fennac fox

feeds $50a wallaby

$75afeeds zebra

$100a feeds feeds feeds a $150 feeds $200 $300 bobcat a cheetah African wild dog a giraffe Currently we have 80 monthly donors! Won’t you help us reach 100 Champions of Conservation in the next 30 days? Join today! To support The Living Desert by becoming a monthly donor please visit or contact Lexi Ward, Annual Giving Officer at 760-340-2157 or


become a community scientist! When dealing with conservation, big issues like climate change and wildlife trafficking can

seem far beyond our control. However, the way to manage these crises, and even solve them, is not to let the task overwhelm us into inaction. Here are five things beyond the proverbial ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’ that you can do to make a real impact right now!

1. identify camera trap images Identify wildlife images and videos caught by camera traps for conservation organizations around the world. Camera trapping is a non-invasive monitoring method used to study wildlife. These images provide important information to help protect species. The Living Desert works with organizations around the world including Grevy’s Zebra Trust, Painted Dog Research Trust, and Chaco Tapir Project in the U.S., Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Paraguay, looking at thousands of videos and photos of wildlife. Volunteers are essential in sorting these images. Camera Trap Image Photo credit: Painted Dog Research Trust

Please contact Volunteer Program Curator, Justin Carmichael at if you are interested in helping code camera trap images.

2. survey local ant species Understand the ants in your backyard. Fifty years ago two historical entomologists began a survey of ants in an area that spanned from Santa Rosa Mountains, spread through Deep Canyon, Palm Desert, and all the way down to the Whitewater River Channel. We are asking the public to sample ants in their own backyard using a safe and easy bait and freeze trap supplied by (and then returned to) The Living Desert. We are interested to learn how development and climate change are affecting local biodiversity in the watershed in which The Living Desert resides. Please contact for your free ant biodiversity kit.


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3. track predatory raven populations Download iNaturalist to your phone for free and use it to keep tabs on the exploding raven population here in our valley. Ravens are an opportunistic species that take advantage of the extra food provided from uncovered trash to expand their populations. By tracking raven movements, we can identify and address problem sites. Because these unnaturally large numbers of ravens also prey on young desert tortoises, please don’t forget to cover your trash to deter them from an area.


Download iNaturalist on your iPhone or Android device for free, join the Raven Report project, and start reporting your raven sightings in the Coachella Valley.

4. help local pollinators Fill your garden with native plants that are crucial for reinvigorating dwindling populations of monarch butterflies, and sustaining local pollinators. Or, build a twig nest as a safe place for solitary bees to lay eggs. Twig nests can be made easily by drilling holes into a wooden block and securing it to a post or fence, or by fastening together a bundle of bamboo sticks and then wedging them tightly into the fork of a tree. Pollinators are vital in a healthy ecosystem! Bee

Visit The Living Desert’s gift shop to purchase native plants, including: Penstemon, Butterfly mist, Smoketree, Sages, Milkweed, and Dogweed.

5. seafood watch Use the Seafood Watch consumer guides if you choose to eat seafood. Sadly, unsustainable fishing practices have led to the critical endangerment of many marine species including the Vaquita. Monterey Bay Aquarium evaluates the seafood marketplace and distributes free resources on ethical seafood consumption. Visit for a downloadable Seafood Watch consumer guide.

Seafood Watch Guide

by becoming a community scientist, you can help conserve our planet! 11


We Couldn’t Do It Without You! By Justin Carmichael, Volunteer Program Curator

When visitors arrive at The Living Desert, they will likely engage with a Zoo volunteer. Volunteers

make important connections between guests and the animals, plants, local community, and conservation messaging here at the Zoo. Every year we welcome new volunteers! Our volunteers have many valuable skills that highlight the unique animals, gardens, and programs that the Zoo offers. We are accepting volunteers with COVID-19 precautions in place. To become an agent of conservation at The Living Desert, please contact Volunteer Program Curator, Justin Carmichael at Your time means the world to us!

virtual education at The Living Desert By Christian Burrell, Curator of Education

As one of three pillars of The Living Desert’s

conservation mission, education is an important branch of public outreach for the Zoo. Typically, we offer many onsite programs and field trips for students throughout the year, but how do we accomplish this messaging while schools are in distance learning mode, and groups are unable to attend programs?

The program, Secrets of the Desert, was designed to introduce children to desert biodiversity and introduce the concept of ecosystems and working collaboratively for a sustainable environment— even while we may be apart. The feedback we received was positive, and we are looking forward to integrating the successes and ideas we received from children and families into upcoming virtual programming. As we create more online content, the potential for new opportunities grow. Up next? Virtual field trips! Stay tuned for more future e-education!

Our solution was to pilot an online program a young audience could connect to from their homes! Instead of being a setback, we saw this as an opportunity to reach new hearts and minds. In July, a select group of the Conservation Engagement and Learning team organized the beta test for a virtual camp program for 8-10 year olds.

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Virtual Zoo Camp Host Natalie Gonzalez


The Woodyard Family

Spotlight on Supporters:

The Woodyards


By Cynthia Buckner, Development Assistant

Inspired by foxpaws’ ‘The Year of the Cheetah’ article in 2016, Jeffrey Woodyard—only

twelve-years-old at the time—announced to his parents, Robyn and Scot, that he wanted to help save the magnificent cheetah from extinction. The family contacted The Living Desert about hosting a booth at Cubberly School’s Fall Carnival in Long Beach, CA. The Zoo provided plush animals and foxpaws copies while the family and volunteers solicited more donations for prizes and games. All told the booth raised $250.00 for conservation, which his grandparents and zoo members, Libby and Jeff Ames, graciously matched.

The following two years, Jeffrey’s younger brother Sam joined in and together they raised an astounding $1,500.00 each year! When Jeffrey graduated from Cubberly School in 2019, Sam continued the tradition. Their generous gifts were shared between The Living Desert and the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, Africa. We are honored to be a part of meaningful stories like the Woodyards’!


Continuing Our Crossroads of Conservation: Rhino Savanna Construction By Jan Hawkins, Director of Development and Kippy Laflame, Capital Campaign Gift Officer

The Living Desert is excited to be continuing with our Pride of the Desert: Crossroads of Conservation capital campaign.

After 2 years of intense design work to complete more than 400 pages of construction documents and obtain building permits, shovels touched dirt on August 1, 2020, and construction is now underway. As with everything we do here at The Living Desert, our mission of desert conservation is central to this project. The construction of expansive new habitats will provide a home for a breeding pair of critically endangered black rhinos, as well as other African desert animals. These animals will become ambassadors for their species, and their presence will support conservation programs, educate and inspire Zoo visitors from around the world. Current Zoo features are being remodeled as well, including a new habitat for the warthogs, porcupines and meerkats. To accommodate construction, some paths have been redirected, so please pardon our desert dust. After a year of construction, the Fall of 2021 will bring spacious, multi-species habitats and an updated Zoo of the Future! Visit our website to enjoy a virtual view of our Crossroads of Conservation. Your support is critical to helping fulfill our desert conservation mission. If you would like to help The Living Desert and build the Zoo of the future, you can contact the Development Department at 760-340-5865 or foxpaws |

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Ways to Give There are so many different ways to support the animals and programs you love at The Living Desert! Besides memberships and adoptions, did you know that you can donate to the Zoo on platforms like Facebook, or by shopping AmazonSmile and Ralph’s? It’s easy! Show your commitment to The Living Desert by creating a fundraiser on Facebook for friends and followers to support. Or, register to link your account (AmazonSmile) or rewards card (Ralph’s) to The Living Desert. When you shop in person or online, the store will donate a portion of your purchases at no additional cost to you. It’s a small act that can make a big impact! We appreciate your generosity, and we couldn’t do it without you!


REDUCE TAXES WITH AN IRA GIFT This year, new laws may cause you to pay higher taxes. Consider reducing your tax burden through an IRA rollover. If you are 70 ½ or older you can make a charitable gift of up to $100,000 from your IRA. Your gift will qualify for your required minimum distribution and you will not need to pay federal income tax on the amount donated to The Living Desert. Check with your advisor to see how supporting a cause you love through an IRA rollover gift might impact your taxes.

Or instead, make a charitable bequest. A bequest on part or all of your IRA permits you to make full use of your funds during your lifetime. The Living Desert will benefit in the future from what remains. Your plan custodian can provide you with a form to designate The Living Desert as a beneficiary of your IRA. Contact Amy Crabb at or call 760-340-4954 to learn more, or make your gift today.


ZOONEWS ZOO NEWS Netflix Filming

Host & Science Journalist Latif Nasser

NETFLIX SERIES The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens has been featured in the first of six episodes of the new docuseries, “Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything,” on Netflix. The show highlights the Zoo’s breeding programs for African wild dogs, Mexican gray wolf, Arabian oryx, and slender-horned gazelles, and features Senior Conservation Biologist Sarah Greely sharing details about the Zoo’s many SSPs (Species Survival Plans).

Grundhofer Plaza

VOTED ONE OF NORTH AMERICA'S TOP 10 ZOOS! The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is proud to announce that, for the third consecutive year, our Zoo has been awarded one of USA TODAY’S top 10 zoos in North America. We are so honored, and would like to thank everyone who voted for us—we appreciate your support!

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PRIVATE SAFARI TOURS The Living Desert is glad to announce that Private Safari Tours are once again available to guests! Book a tour for two-six guests from the same household. This tour experience includes Park admissions, giraffe feeding, and private shuttle with a personal guide. Visit all the major exhibits of the Zoo while our knowledgeable guide shares animal facts, park history, and conservation stories to make each Safari Tour unforgettable. Afterwards, guests will have the opportunity to continue visiting the park and engaging with the Zoo at their own pace. The price is $69 per adult and $39 per child, with tours beginning at 8 a.m. in September, and 9 a.m. October through May. *Masks required. Thank you for helping us keep the Zoo a safe space for all! For more information and to request your tour, contact group sales at (760) 346-9810 or email Private Safari Tour

SOCIALBUTTERFLY SOCIAL BUTTERFLY Whether you’re staying socially distant or you’ve moved on for the season, there are so many ways to stay connected to The Living Desert! From our monthly emails and weekly Monday Minute newsletter sharing the inside-scoop on a wide range of Zoo and conservation topics, to our Tuesday Facebook Lives where you can interact and ask your burning questions to animal and plant experts in real time—there is something for everyone! Are you more piqued by visuals? No problem! We post regularly on Instagram and in Instagram stories, fun, behindthe-scenes footage from the Animal Care Team, as well as ZooSchool pop quizzes and DYK’s! And on Twitter and Facebook you can find a running feed of content that includes need-toknow information on contests, schedules, keeper chats, and more. So connect with us, and stay close to your Zoo family even while we are apart! We are here for you, wherever you are.



The 11 youngest African wild dog pups are now 7 months old! As of August 10, they were all weighing in between 46-59 lbs., and according to the Animal Care Team they’ve been enjoying daily swims in their pool. They are more outgoing than their 6 older siblings and spend their time playing tug of war, pulling out tufts of grass, and proudly prancing around the habitat. The African wild dogs went especially wild over the recent carcass feeding. While carcass feeding might not be suitable viewing for all, these opportunities provide nutritional benefits, increase mental and physical activity, and encourage natural behaviors.

African Wild Dog Puppies

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! t p Ado

A gift that gives back!

Animal adoptions make memorable gifts for friends, family, or even yourself! Gift recipients are given a plush animal, certificate of adoption, a fact sheet and more, depending on the level of donation. This symbolic adoption is tax-deductible and supports the health and well-being of almost 500 resident animals at The Living Desert. Reserve an adoptable holiday gift today! For more information, call 760-340-4954 or visit

NEW DATES FOR 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. You will travel with expert conservationist and wildlife interpreter Allen Monroe, President/CEO of The Living Desert.


Our upcoming trips include: Kenya - New dates! June 2 - 13, 2021 Botswana - October 2 - 13, 2021 Antarctica - New dates! January 8 - 24, 2022

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 Book now, as space is limited!



47900 Portola Ave. Palm Desert, CA 92260

MISSION: ANIMAL CARE We sincerely appreciate all the support the community has shown to The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens during this unprecedented time. Because of you, we are able to continue our mission of desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation. When you donate to Mission: Animal Care, become a member, or wear a mask during your visit, you are helping us keep the Zoo an open and safe space for all!

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