Saturday, March 03, 2012

Some Acacia Seeds Germinate Only After Passing Through A Giraffe's Digestive System

So said the sign at "The Living Desert" in Palm Desert.   I'm a reluctant zoo visitor.  I love seeing the animals, I'm not happy about seeing them in cages.  We went to the Living Desert because an old friend who lives in the area is a member an invited us.

(I could put up my giraffe picture, but it would be an example of what not to do when taking a picture.  The light was bright and I couldn't see the screen and got a plant right in front of the giraffe.)

It turns out to be a new form of zoo.  Their history page says:
The Living Desert was established in 1970 by several trustees of the Palm Springs Desert Museum who foresaw the impact that resort development would have on their local desert ecosystem. This foresight led to an interpretive nature trail and preserve in Palm Desert. Among the trustees was Philip L. Boyd who also founded the Riverside campus of the University of California and the Deep Canyon Research Station in Palm Desert. Among his first tasks was to hire a resident naturalist. This person turned out to be a young woman with energy, intelligence and ambition, as well as experience as a zoo keeper and park ranger, plus graduate work in wildlife biology. Karen Sausman was President and CEO of The Living Desert for forty years and has recently retired. The vision that built The Living Desert and the love of the desert shared by Phillip Boyd, Karen Sausman, our members, volunteers, staff, trustees, and friends, will be carried forward by our new President and CEO, Stacey Johnson.

For almost four decades The Living Desert has been engaged in the important work of preserving, conserving and interpreting the desert and all its varied plant and animal life.

They have 1800 acres, they say, of which 1000 are in their natural state.  They have a tram and what I'd call adult strollers which made it easy for my mom to get around with us.

Most of their animals are local - including Endangered species like the Mexican wolf and Peninsula Bighorn sheep, which we saw, but I didn't take pictures of.  But I did get pictures of a cougar and a badger.

And then they have the non-local animals like the giraffes and the cheetah.

The Mexican Wolf display had this useful sign for people who have trouble reading the body language of wolves (and dogs.)

Click to enlarge

Thanks Tim for a great time.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Steve!
    It's Ropi. I managed to delete my Gmail account so I can't write from there. I wanted to modify my security settings and I was "too successful". It seems I should stay away from the PC.

    Anyway I am not a great animal fan, so I rarely attend zoos.


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