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A Guitar Shootout For The Animals

Blues for the Zoo Benefit Concert Raises Funds for Moonridge Animal Park

Blues for the Zoo, a benefit concert to help raise funds for Moonridge Animal Park’s rehabilitation programs for orphaned and injured alpine wildlife, features three of Chicago’s most celebrated blues guitarists on the same stage for the first time ever. The headlining act called The Chicago Blues Shootout is an all-star group that featured blues virtuosos Lurrie Bell, Ronnie Baker Brooks and Larry McCray. Singer-songwriter Brother Yusef, opened the concert with his blend of acoustic-style blues. Maria Muldaur and her Red Hot Bluesiana Band performed second on the bill with American roots music including her hit single “Midnight at the Oasis.”

“Music and animals are connected in so many ways. Wolves howl, cats purr, owls hoot and humans play guitar,” said Moonridge Animal Park Curator Debbie Richardson. “The benefit concert is a win, win for our concert-goers. They win because they get to hear quality music at a beautiful scenic lakeside setting, and they win because all proceeds go toward helping our animals.”

Moonridge Animal Park is home to 160 orphaned and injured wildlife representing over 90 species. The main purpose of the zoo since its inception in 1960 is to rehabilitate and release animals back into the wild. Not all rehabilitated animals can be released however, which is why the zoo continues to exist.

Blues for the Zoo was held Saturday, August 6 at Swim Beach Outdoor Amphitheater in Big Bear Lake. The concert featured a selection of local arts and crafts and a freshly prepared food and beverage menu. Beach chairs and blankets provided for festival-style lawn seating. McDill Swim Beach was open during the concert for concert-goers only.

About Moonridge Animal Park:
Moonridge Animal Park (MAP) is the only zoological facility in San Bernardino County, and one of only two alpine zoos in the United States. The difference is MAP is mostly dedicated to alpine wildlife that has been impacted by humans. MAP has always been a wildlife rehabilitation center and sanctuary for injured, orphaned, and endangered alpine species until they can be returned to their natural habitat. MAP is open year round, weather permitting. Permanent “residents” include a family of Grizzly bears, bobcats, wood bison, wolves, mountain lions and a snow leopard, as well as dozens of smaller native alpine wildlife, such as foxes, porcupine, raccoons, eagles and a variety of other birds. Both guided and self-guided tours are available and provide an excellent first-hand look into mountain wildlife and the delicate balance of nature. For more information about Moonridge Animal Park call (909) 584-1299 or visit