Mojave Maxine emerges for springtime

Maxine is 35 year old tortoise who lives at The Living Desert

PALM DESERT, Calif. - Mojave Maxine is The Living Desert's version of Punxsutawney Phil, and zoo officials said she emerged from her burrow on Monday morning.

Maxine is a 35-year-old desert tortoise and she came out of brumation (reptilian hibernation) at 11:53 a.m. on February, 17. Zoo officials said it's a sign that spring is now upon us.

Zookeepers said Maxine retires to her burrow for several months while colder weather sticks around, and she resurfaces in early spring as the warm days begin to arrive. They said fresh flowers are a favorite food of the desert tortoise.

Each year, The Living Desert holds a contest for school children to predict when Mojave Maxine will emerge from her burrow. The Mojave Maxine Emergence Contest-winning students form nine Southern California counties will be notified in the coming weeks.

Officials said nearly 3,000 students entered the contest this year.

Winner students receive a $50 gift certificate, a Federal Land Pass, a visit from Mojave Maxine, t-shirts for their entire class and a $100 gift certificate for their teacher, according to the Living Desert's website.

comments powered by Disqus

Photo Galleries

  • On this day: October 26
    Tilla/Wikimedia Commons

    On this day: October 26

    The Erie Canal opens, the Pony Express closes, Wyatt Earp shoots it out in Tombstone, and the Patriot Act is signed into law, all on this day.

    Read More »
  • States with most and least powerful voters
    iStock / bns124

    States with most and least powerful voters

    With the presidential election rapidly approaching, WalletHub has released its list of the states with the most and least powerful voters. Click through to see where your state ranks.

    Read More »
  • Changes since last Cubs' World Series
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Changes since last Cubs' World Series

    The Chicago Cubs are back in the World Series for the first time since 1945. See how times have changed over the past 71 years.

    Read More »
  • The many looks of Katy Perry
    Jason Merritt/Getty Images

    The many looks of Katy Perry

    Pop singer Katy Perry has made a big impact on the music scene in the few years she has been around. In celebration of her 32nd birthday on Tuesday, join us for a look at her career so far.

    Read More »
  • On this day: October 25
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    On this day: October 25

    Pablo Picasso is born, the first domestic microwave oven goes on sale, Led Zeppelin debuts in concert, the U.S. invades Grenada, and Bill Buckner blows it for the Red Sox, all on this day.

    Read More »