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Forget Punxsutawney Phil! California Has ‘Mojave Maxine’

Forget Punxsutawney Phil! California Has ‘Mojave Maxine’

Ground Hog Day has nothing on Mojave Maxine ...SoCal students invited to guess when the desert tortoise will emerge.

 

The east coast has Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhog Day to let them know when they can expect spring. California has Mojave Maxine, the desert tortoise, to signify that warmer weather is on the way.

Maxine Mojave is a 36 yr. old Desert Tortoise who will be awaking soon.

Maxine Mojave is a 38 yr. old Desert Tortoise who will be awaking soon.

Sometime in the coming weeks, Mojave Maxine will awaken from her long winter’s slumber and emerge from her subterranean burrow at The Living Desert. The exact date of this annual occurrence, however, is anyone’s guess.

Sometime in the coming weeks, Mojave Maxine will awaken from her long winter’s slumber and emerge from her subterranean burrow at The Living Desert.

Sometime in the coming weeks, Mojave Maxine will awaken from her long winter’s slumber and emerge from her subterranean burrow at The Living Desert.

Students in grades K-12 from throughout Southern California will have the opportunity to predict when the 38-year old desert tortoise will be roused from brumation (hibernation for reptiles) and make her first appearance of 2015, indicating longer, warmer days are on the way.

The first entry received from each county that is closest to the exact day and time wins a $50 gift certificate, a Federal Lands Pass, a visit from Mojave Maxine, Mojave Maxine t-shirts for their entire class and a $100 gift certificate for their teacher. Students from Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties are invited to participate in the contest.

Mojave's Maxine

Mojave's Maxine

In 2014, more than 3,000 students submitted predictions prior to Maxine’s star-studded arrival on February 17 at 11:53 a.m. A live video feed is available online at http://www.livingdesert.org/mojave-maxine/ to watch for when Mojave Maxine appears.

“It’s great to see the kids get excited and involved with our annual contest,” said Peter Siminski, Director of Conservation. “The Mojave desert tortoise population is threatened, so this program really helps create awareness.”

To enter the contest, visit http://www.livingdesert.org/mojave-maxine/. The contest is open now until Mojave Maxine wakes up from her brumation.

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