People have found ways to celebrate birthdays under quarantine so it's no surprise that California Living Museum would also find a way to party with the animals.
Closed since mid-March, the museum had to reevaluate its upcoming event calendar, including canceling the Spring Fling in April.
When it came to the annual Birthday Bash, zoo manager Lana Fain started brainstorming.
"We weren't going to have Spring Fling — that was right before Easter — and I understood that, but I couldn’t get past not acknowledging CALM’s birthday," she said. "We can’t not recognize CALM’s birthday."
She found a solution in social media. Since the shutdown began, the museum has stepped up its engagement with the community via social media.
"I've been posting videos of the keepers and pictures of the flowers," Fain said. "So I thought, 'We can have our entire birthday on Facebook.'"
Starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with a morning greeting surprise from "someone who was very integral to CALM itself," CALM's Facebook page will be populated with an assortment of photos and videos featuring keepers, office staff who have been working from home and animals with birthday treats.
"I'm posting way more than they recommend for the day on Facebook," Fain said. "They're not going to miss anything — bear getting cake, condors getting birthday treats."
The online festivities will also feature additional guests: "I called some of our different organizations that have joined us every year," Fain said. "They responded overwhelmingly."
Participating groups include Kern Audubon Society, Endangered Species Recovery Program, Kern County Bees, California Native Plant Society and Mea Ola’s Place, from which donkeys Wolfman Jack and Flapjack were adopted.
The U.S. Forest Service also will have a nostalgic look at the real-life inspiration for Smokey Bear. The Bakersfield Police Department's K9 unit also will present a video demonstration of dogs in action.
Fain said she has kept a list in pencil — "I've changed the schedule so many times because of all the great stuff the keepers have been sending" — for the planned posts that will continue through the day until at least 4 p.m.
The zoo manager knows the community misses CALM (people still drop off needed donations at the gate) and the feeling is mutual.
"It's just so different out there. We miss the guests. The animals can tell there is something very different now. We just can't wait to get our guests back again."
For now, fans will have to be content with seeing their favorite animals having fun on social media until the museum can reopen.
"We've been here 37 years and we’re part of the community," Fain said. "We want to get people focused on something bright. That's something we need."