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San Diego Zoo, Bishop, Mount Shasta

Learn about a San Diego institution’s conservation efforts, discover hidden gems in Bishop, and find spiritual renewal on Mount Shasta

In 1980, there were just 22 endangered California Condors in the wild. Now, there are more than 450 magnificent thunderbirds, thanks in large part to the herculean efforts of wildlife conservationists with San Diego Zoo Global. On this episode of the California Now Podcast, host Soterios Johnson speaks with Rick Schwartz, spokesperson and ambassador for the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. He's an expert in animal behavior and a liaison between animals and the people who love them. As Johnson discovers, there's a lot to love about the denizens of the Zoo and Safari Park.

Johnson is next joined by California travel writer Ann Marie Brown. The author shares one of her favorite Golden State destinations: the Inyo County town of Bishop. Founded by gold miners in the 19th century, the small town at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range has known for more than just a stop along the way to Mammoth Lakes or Yosemite. Johnson learns about how its eateries and bakeries are drawing foodies from all around, and that its wealth of Aspen trees produce some of the most beautiful fall foliage on the planet.

The episode also features a conversation with longtime Mount Shasta tour guide Andrew Oser, who describes the spiritual side of one of the most iconic peaks in California. Mount Shasta is a place that draws people from all over the world who are seeking spiritual rejuvenation, and that its name is derived from a Russian word that means “eternal happiness.”



Wildlife conservationist and spokesperson for the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park Rick Schwartz shares a few pro-tips for your next visit.

Travel writer Ann Marie Brown shares her favorite finds in Bishop.

Tour guide Andrew Oser of Mt. Shasta Retreats discusses the mountain's spiritual power and natural beauty.

About the Host

Soterios Johnson, formerly the local host of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition on radio station WNYC, moved from New York City to Davis, Calif., in 2016 and is just getting to know his surroundings. By combining his journalistic instincts with his personal curiosity, Johnson will use the California Now platform to develop a deeper understanding of his adopted home.

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