The California Living Museum was a dream of founder Michael Hopkins. He formed a small, but hearty, group comprised of Bakersfield’s civic leaders, movers and shakers and with the assistance of hundreds of volunteers working together to build the infrastructure of Kern County’s first zoo.
In 1983, the first year of operation, a little over 9,000 people visited the facility. In 2021, more than 83,000 visited the zoo.
In 1998, CALM became a department of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools.
In the following years, CALM has grown from a locals-only attraction to an international destination point. Visitors from around the world have been attracted to our zoo to see a variety of endangered species as well as California’s native species….animals that they cannot see in their countries.
CALM is not only a safe, educational, environment for our visitors, it enhances our quality of life as a whole. It is a place where now a third generation is bringing their children to experience wildlife and nature in a peaceful, up close and personal setting. It truly makes memories that last a lifetime.
The little zoo that could is now a gem in the foothills above Bakersfield dedicated to showcasing California’s native species and to the successful rehabilitation of wildlife.