California Living Museum Reopens To the Public


Saioa Laverty

CALM is home to many animals, including these mountain lions.

Saioa Laverty, Reporter

The California Living Museum, CALM, reopened on March 6 for friends and family to enjoy after being closed for most of the past year. CALM is a zoo consisting only of animals and plants native to California. Most animals were rescued and are dependent upon the zoo’s care for their survival.

To ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience, CALM implemented a number of rules that visitors had to follow in their park. While walking around the zoo, shopping in the gift shop, and checking in at the front desk visitors were required to maintain at least six feet of distance between themselves and others. Signs were posted throughout the park which read “Please Practice Physical Distancing- Mountain Lion Length Apart” and “Please Practice Physical Distancing- 6’ Wing Span Apart” as a friendly reminder to their guests.

Additionally, guests were asked to wear a mask in “high traffic areas”, however, most guests appeared to be wearing their masks for the entirety of their visit. These areas were marked with a large blue sign that said “Mask Zone- Face Mask Required”.

COVID-19 had both a negative and positive impact on The California Living Museum. Meg Maitland, CALM’s director, explained how CALM has tried to make the most of the pandemic. Maitland said that they had the ability to “make some renovations on the inside” and “work on staff personnel” throughout the period of time that the museum was closed. The Shorebird Exhibit and the equine paddock were two of the renovated areas.

A downside to the pandemic was that some of the most treasured exhibits were still not permitted to open. CALM visitor, Adrianna Jaramillo, said that her and her family missed being able to “see and touch the reptiles” that are in the Reptile House which was unfortunately one of the exhibits closed due to COVID. The California Coast Room was another exhibit that was not permitted to open because of the state of the pandemic.

Luckily, a majority of the animal exhibits were open to the public for viewing. Jaramillo said that her and her family’s favorite animals they saw were the “California Black Bears”. The bears were cuddled up asleep in the corner of their enclosure looking very sweet, so it is obvious why they generated a liking from the visitors.

Another visitor, Logan Wiggins who was at CALM with a few friends said that the highlight of her visit was “seeing the California Mountain Lions interacting with each other”. There were three mountain lions in the enclosure, two were walking around the enclosure getting fairly close to the glass that separated them from their visitors, and the third was perched on a high rock overlooking the other two along with the spectators.

Although the bears and mountain lions seemed to be quite popular they are only two of a plethora of animals that CALM kept in their zoo. They also had farm animals, smaller cats, desert species, numerous types of birds, and more.