About the Zoo

Our mission is desert conservation through preservation, education, and appreciation.

Giraffe Savanna

About the Zoo

Conservation is at the heart of everything we do at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. We are actively engaged in 80+ projects around the world  including international field conservation efforts, local habitat restoration, and on-site initiatives. By connecting guests to individual animals in our immersive habitats, we strive to create conservation advocates for nature and wildlife.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens has been a beloved institution in Southern California for over 50 years. An Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoo and botanical garden, The Living Desert represents the desert environments of North America, Australia, and Africa with more than 150 species, 1,200 protected acres, and miles of hiking trails.

Today’s Progress

Conservation Projects
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Countries with Active Initiatives
Animals in Our Care
Plant Species at the Zoo

Our Keystone Projects

Our Leaders

Allen Monroe


RoxAnna Breitigan

Chief Operating Officer

Dwight Middendorf

CFO/Vice President of Information and Innovation

Jeff Petrovic

Chief Development Officer

Dr. James Danoff-Burg

Vice President of Conservation

Allison Krupp

Vice President of Marketing and Communications

Terrie Terrell

Vice President of People and Culture

Dr. Anna Young

Vice President of Learning and Impact

Brian Sawicki

Director of Park Design, Maintenance and Gardens


Join The Living Desert and be part of a passionate team dedicated to desert conservation. Here, every role contributes to inspiring actions that promote wildlife preservation and environmental education.

Free Family Membership

Paid Time Off

Health, Dental & Vision Insurance*

401(k) Plan after 6 months and 1,000 hours

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Professional Development Opportunities

Our Board of Trustees

Board of Directors

  • Bill Appel, Chairman*
  • Craig McCollam, Treasurer*
  • Sandra Cooper Woodson, Secretary*
  • Allen Monroe, President/CEO and Assistant Secretary*
  • Deborah Chapman*
  • Marylynn Gladstein
  • Jim Gould
  • Candace Holzgrafe*
  • H. Earl Hoover II
  • Suz Hunt*
  • Michael Kiner
  • Jaishri Mehta
  • Jneil Nelson
  • Peter Scheer
  • Michael Schreter
  • Sally Simonds
  • Bill Simpkins
  • Phillip K. Smith Jr.*
  • Mary Lou Solomon
  • Larry Spicer
  • Sam Spinello
  • Nancy L Stegehuis*
  • Judy Vossler

    *Board of Directors 
  • Karen Sausman, President Emerita
  • Curt Ealy, Trustee Emeritus
  • Brian S. Harnik, Legal Counsel Roemer & Harnik, LLP

Advisory Counsel

  • City of Indian Wells – Mayor Greg Sanders
  • City of Palm Desert – Mayor Karina Quintanilla and Council Member Kathleen Kelly
  • City of Rancho Mirage – Mayor Steve Downs and Council Member Ted Weill
  • Coachella Valley Water District – Jim Barrett and Anthony Bianco
  • Visit Greater Palm Springs – Scott White and Davis Meyer
  • Carol Wright

Have a Question?

We are happy to help you! We’re always eager to share more about our work in conservation, education, and animal care.

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