Malibu Seen: Spots, Stripes and Skins Raise Millions

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Longtime local supporters Slash and Ed Begley Jr. join Greater Zoo prez Connie Morgan and a furry friend at the Beastly Ball.

And they were off… trekking through the lush grounds of the Los Angeles Zoo in their chic safari best, pith helmets, binoculars and all. It’s feeding time and you’ll hear a symphony of critters calling: roars, chirps and growls. The wild celebration marks the 50th anniversary of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, making it one of the g-r-r-eatest ever. Nearly 1,000 guests helped raise the biggest take in history—a whopping, record-breaking $1.5 million. Best of all, it goes to maintain the zoo and its many animal conservation programs. And it wasn’t just the lions that were roaring.

When Nancy Wilson—one of the founding members of legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group Heart—and Liv Warfield—formerly of Prince’s New Power Generation—joined rock icon Slash, renowned pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph, and singer songwriter and “America’s Got Talent” finalist Benton Blount, it became a critter-loving Woodstock called “Concert For Conservation.” 

Showcasing the enormous impact the zoo has on animal conservation both locally and internationally, this year’s signature fundraiser honored animal expert and conservationist Jack Hanna. The ball took place on the heels of national Endangered Species Day to underscore the zoo’s commitment to saving animals from extinction and spotlight its role as a leader in the preservation of some of the world’s most critically endangered species and their habitats. In the end, this was one fierce event! 

 

MORE CRITTER CONSERVATION

It’s springtime at the California Wildlife Center and animal-loving workers gave SEEN a peek behind the scenes at their latest saves.

Volunteers have been busier than bees with a flock of lifesaving rescues in recent weeks, including 26 songbirds, 26 ducks, eight pelicans, three owls, three deer, six hawks, one coyote pup, one fur seal and so many more.

The center reports that the Northern Elephant seal pups are also showing progress. Volunteers say, “We have already released seven back into the Pacific, with the remainder to follow in the coming weeks. We have seen an influx of Brown pelicans this week, most of them being emaciated juveniles.”

The center has seen a number of skunk kits, as well, who are not yet weaned. Three of these skunks became orphans when their mother was killed by a pest control service. Skunks require extra care when rescuing. If you find an orphaned baby skunk, throw a towel over it and use a broom to push it into a box. If you find an injured adult skunk, call animal control. Three deer fawns were rescued in just the last few weeks. Two arrived together and the third a few days later. Sadly, one of the first pair passed away, but the two remaining fawns will be raised together at CWC and then released. The center’s Victoria Harris says here are some ways you can help:

• Many baby animals that may appear to be orphaned are not. Deer mothers will often leave their babies for extended periods. Many bird species go through a fledgling stage where young birds are on the ground, but are still fed by their parents. Unless you know the parents are dead, call a licensed rehabilitator before removing a baby animal from the wild.

• Mother ducks will often nest in backyards with pools. If you have a pool, floating pool toys can scare away expectant mothers. If the duck has laid eggs, it is a federal offense to disturb a duck nest or a mother and ducklings if the eggs have hatched. At this point, they cannot be relocated but you can leave the gate open to allow them an escape.

• Do not trim your trees. There are many animals nesting this time of year. December is the best time for tree-trimming.

The CWC says it appreciates all the help it gets and gives to Malibu, noting, “We are here for you at no cost when you and your wild neighbors need our help.”