Celebrating 50 Years of Adventure
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild.

Press Room



Contact: Erin Scott
Sr. Marketing and Public Relations Manager
760-346-5694 x.2610

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is hosting a spring speaker series focusing on its conservation efforts, to be held weekly through May 3, 2018. The lectures, held in The Living Desert's Chase Administration Building, are free and open to the public. Space is limited to the first 100 people on a first-come, first-served basis.

“The public is invited to learn first-hand about a few of the many conservation programs we support here at The Living Desert,” said Allen Monroe, President/CEO of The Living Desert. “From bighorn sheep and desert tortoise to the little known vaquita and African painted dog, we work in a variety of ways to assist in protecting these animals and helping ensure they have a future.”

Following is the schedule of speakers:
Aimee Byard, Associate Director, Bighorn Institute, April 6, 2018 at 11 a.m.
Bighorn Sheep are an iconic desert species. The Bighorn Institute is dedicated to the conservation of the world's wild sheep through research and education. Its goal is to conduct research into the ecology of wild sheep populations with particular emphasis on our local peninsular desert bighorn.

Masuzyo Zimba, Field Conservationist and Eco-Tour Guide April 10, 2018 at 12:30 p.m.
Mr. Zimba will share stories and conclusions about best practices in southern Africa for engaging local people, international tourists, and professionals in Zambia to conserve the Big 5 and other wildlife.

Dr. James Danoff-Burg, Director of Conservation, The Living Desert April 11, 2018 at 11 a.m. The vaquita is the most endangered marine mammal in the world, and is found only in the Upper Gulf of California. We will discuss recent heroic, but failed, efforts to reverse the decline of this "panda of the sea" and plot a course for the future.

Justin Carmichael, Volunteer Program Manager, The Living Desert April 19 at 10 a.m. & April 26, 2018 at 5 p.m.
Desert Regional Medical Center and The Living Desert present, Rattlesnakes: Learn what you should know to safely cohabitate with snakes while enjoying our desert's outdoor lifestyle. A few simple precautions will keep you and your furry friends safe on the trails.

Sarah Greely, Desert Tortoise Conservation, The Living Desert April 26, 2018 at 11 a.m.
Desert tortoises seem to be everywhere, including in many people's backyards. However, their wild populations are precipitously declining. We have the power to help ensure their conservation in our own neighborhoods by controlling trash and being responsible pet owners.

Peter Blinston, Director, Painted Dog Conservation, May 3, 2018 at 3 p.m.

The hugely charismatic African wild dogs, also known as African painted dogs, are nonetheless considered vermin and threats to livestock in Southern Africa. There are many things that can be done to ensure that these beautiful animals coexist with human needs.

The Living Desert is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call (760) 346-5694 or visit

About The Living Desert:
The Living Desert is an AZA-accredited zoo and gardens that is dedicated to desert 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 The Living Desert is located at: 47900 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert, CA 92260.