Allen Monroe – Vision 2021

The president/CEO sees The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens as “a chance to reengage with nature, have a relaxing visit, and learn a little bit more about the natural world.”

October 18, 2021
Story by Staff Report
allen monroe the living desert

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens CEO Allen Monroe will welcome the community to celebrate the opening of the new rhino savanna adventure, which has been three years in the making.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ETHAN KAMINSKY PRODUCTIONS

For more than a half century, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert has welcomed guests from around the globe, teaching them about the wonders of desert habitats and the range of plants and animals that call them home.

Much credit for its success goes to Allen Monroe, the conservation organization’s president and CEO for the past eight years. He sees the 80-acre desert oasis as “a chance to reengage with nature, have a relaxing visit, and learn a little bit more about the natural world.”

He hopes the place inspires young visitors to make wise decisions about the uses of natural resources when they grow up.

Charged with maintaining and evolving the property, he’s also excited to add new animal habitats. In November, he’ll welcome the community to celebrate the opening of the new rhino savanna adventure, which has been three years in the making. “We will be bringing in 12 new species,” Monroe says, “the most important of which is the endangered black rhino.” There will also be birds, antelopes, and gazelles.

Visitors, Monroe beams, “will walk away understanding a little bit more about these animals and be able to see that that lump of keratin on his nose, there’s nothing special or magical about it. It belongs on the rhino’s nose, not on somebody’s trophy mantle fireplace.”