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Safari West LIVE!  “Spooky Safari” Halloween Shows

Safari West LIVE! produced its first two live interactive “Spooky Safari” Halloween shows, to the delight of children in hospitals throughout the US.  The shows broadcasted live African style Safari Treks from the Sonoma Serengeti to Children’s Nebraska, University of Maryland, Methodist Children’s Hospital, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Shriner’s Hospital in Northern CA, Christus Children’s Hospital, Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital, and Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children.  The program viewership was extended by our partners at Lollipop Theatre, Lucille Packard Stanford Children’s Hospital and Seacrest Studios.

The hosts of Safari West LIVE, Indiana Bones Dano and Pinky Flamingo Denise, provided spooky and sometimes batty educational insights into spiders, Osteology, and all the wonderful African Wildlife at Safari West.  A special feature during the programs, “Nighttime Sounds”, featured guides Denise and Kyra, who brought the kids along as they camped overnight in the African bush.  From the safety of their tent, they listened to the sounds of wild animals as they crashed, howled, and crept, throughout the night.  With their trusty flashlights and adventurous spirit they learned about the animals that were making those sounds!

“Spooky Safari” was so popular, the children and hospital staff have requested more themed spectaculars. As always, this program is free due to the generous gifts of our supporters at the Safari West Wildlife Foundation. Stay tuned…


  • Hosts: Indiana Bones Dano and Pinky Flamingo Denise

  • Producers: Lex (dressed as producer Josette) and Sharky Josette

  • Videographer: Care Bear Marlee

  • Along for the Ride: Purrple Paula

“Safari Nights” was a huge success, Thank You!

On October 7th, to commemorate Safari West’s 30th anniversary and the Safari West Wildlife Foundation’s 25th anniversary, over 275 guests, along with Nancy and Peter Lang, and the Foundation’s Board of Directors, together raised over $127,000 to fund the Foundation’s three youth programs.  It was a party to remember with the Wonderbread 5 band playing under the stars. 

Junior Keepers Mentorship Program, 2023 Graduation

The Safari West Wildlife Foundation congratulates the 2023 program graduates.  This year’s season ended on November 12th, and graduates were treated to a special trek across the Sonoma Serengeti and a celebratory pizza party.  The program mentored 20 young people between the ages of twelve to sixteen, and eight earned their certificates of completion.

The Junior Keepers is a unique, intensive wildlife education program providing foundational learning for future vocation and education opportunities. Led by naturalist, Nicole Pedrotti-Stie, students learn and practice animal husbandry, general science, team building, and presentation/public speaking skills. Curriculum includes both Safari West’s African animals and birds from all over the world, as well as animals native to Sonoma County.

The Junior Keepers shared highlights of their experiences below:

“My favorite part about being in the program is the people I surround myself with and the opportunities it offers me.”
“If I choose to pursue a career in zookeeping, wildlife, or environmental science, the experience I have gained from working here would be especially useful. In my day-to-day life, it has given me a deeper understanding of animals and certain animals’ needs.”
“With the program alone, it offers hands-on experience and familiarity with Information that we have never learned before. It also fulfills community service hours and shows future job loyalty.”
“I’ve always loved animals and when I found out about the junior keepers, I was like, “This is perfect for me.” I wanted to do something that gave me hands-on experience with animals and nature.”
“My favorite part of being a junior keeper has undoubtedly been working with the porcupines and the rainbow lorikeets, and I’ve made a lot of friends. The program leader Nicole is also super nice and always supportive.”

Safari West Wildlife Foundation welcomes Paula Johnson

The Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Paula Johnson, as the Foundation’s new Development Manager.  Paula started on October 23rd, and offers a background in fundraising, marketing, event management, and business development.  As Development Manager, Paula is focusing on the Foundation’s strategic alliances and sponsorships, cultivating donor relationships, communications, overall business development of the Foundation, and support of the Foundation’s three youth programs; Safari West LIVE!, Junior Keepers, and Discover Africa.

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