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STUDENTS INVITED TO PREDICT WHEN MOJAVE MAXINE WILL MAKE HER 2018 DEBUT AT THE LIVING DESERT

Winners in each county will receive gift certificates and other prizes
PALM DESERT/INDIAN WELLS, CA • January 22, 2018

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

The east coast has Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhog Day to let them know when they can expect spring. California has Mojave Maxine, the desert tortoise, to signify that warmer weather is on the way. This year, Mojave Maxine, a desert tortoise at The Living Desert, is celebrating her 10th year of announcing spring has arrived.

Maxine and her fellow desert tortoise typically enter brumation (hibernation for reptiles) around Thanksgiving. Their bodies know when to go to sleep based on the outside temperatures and the change in daylight hours. Sometime in the coming weeks, she will awaken from her long winter’s slumber and emerge from her subterranean burrow at The Living Desert. The exact date of this annual occurrence, however, is anyone’s guess.

Students in grades K-12 from throughout Southern California will have the opportunity to predict when the 40- year old desert tortoise, who lives at The Living Desert, will rouse from her brumation and make her first appearance of 2018, indicating longer, warmer days are on the way.

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. Students from Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties are invited to participate in the contest.

“In addition to being a fun contest that engages school children, Mojave Maxine is a wonderful ambassador for The Living Desert,” said Dr. James Danoff-Burg, Director of Conservation. “ The Desert tortoise population is threatened, so she serves as a reminder to conserve and protect our land and desert animals.”

In 2017, more than 1,400 students submitted predictions prior to Maxine’s star-studded arrival on February 7 at 12:06 p.m.

The contest is open now until Mojave Maxine emerges from her burrow. A live video feed is available online to watch for when Mojave Maxine appears. To enter and watch the live feed, visit livingdesert.org/mojave-maxine.

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.