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IT’S AN EARLY SPRING! MOJAVE MAXINE EMERGES AT THE LIVING DESERT

Student Contest Winners will Receive Gift Certificates & Mojave Maxine T-shirts
PALM DESERT/INDIAN WELLS, CA • February 1, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erin Scott
Sr. Marketing and Public Relations Manager
760-346-5694 x.2610
escott@livingdesert.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Dawn Petrick Director of Park Services 760-346-5694 dpetrick@livingdesert.org PHOTO ATTACHED

IT’S AN EARLY SPRING! MOJAVE MAXINE EMERGES AT THE LIVING DESERT

Student Contest Winners will Receive Gift Certificates & Mojave Maxine T-shirts

PALM DESERT/INDIAN WELLS, CA – (February 1, 2018) – Spring is off to an early start this year as Mojave Maxine emerged from brumation (reptilian hibernation) yesterday, January 31, at 12:28 p.m. at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.

While the east coast has Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhog Day to let them know when they can expect spring, The Living Desert has Mojave Maxine to signify that warmer weather is on the way. With valley temperatures in the 80’s, it seems Maxine is an excellent predictor of spring in the desert.

“It has been unseasonably warm this year and our desert animals tell time by the weather, not the calendar,” said Sarah Greely, Desert Tortoise Conservation Coordinator at The Living Desert. “Typically Maxine emerges in February, and her January debut means we could be in for a warm year.”

More than 1,800 students from Inyo, Imperial, San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Kern counties participated in the contest to guess the date and time that Mojave Maxine would emerge. The first entry received from each county that is closest to the exact day and time wins a $50 gift certificate, a Federal Lands Pass, a visit from a desert tortoise, Mojave Maxine t- shirts for their entire class and a $100 gift certificate for their teacher.

“The number of entries in our contest continues to grow and this year we saw an increase of over 400 participants,” said Greely. “It’s exciting to see more and more children interested in conservation and learning about our native desert tortoises through Mojave Maxine.”

Mojave Maxine is a desert tortoise that lives at The Living Desert and will celebrate her 41st birthday in April. Each year, she retires for the winter to her underground burrow and stays there in a state of brumation for several months. Mojave Maxine emerges in early spring as the warm days begin to arrive in the desert, promising fresh flowers, a favorite meal for the desert tortoise.

For more information, visit www.LivingDesert.org or call 760-346-5694.

About The Living Desert:

The Living Desert is an AZA-accredited zoo and gardens that is dedicated to conservation through preservation, education and appreciation. It is a family-friendly place to explore nature and create meaningful experiences for guests that are remembered for a lifetime. For more information: (760) 346-5694 or visit www.LivingDesert.org. The Living Desert is located at: 47900 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert, CA 92260.