Press Room



Contact: Erin Scott
Sr. Marketing and Public Relations Manager
760-346-5694 x.2610

On Friday, April 28 at approximately 9:30 am, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens welcomed a male giraffe calf to the herd - born to mother, Tuli, and father, Hesabu. The yet-to- be-named male calf, weighs in at 185.9 pounds and stands 6 feet 3 inches tall. The calf is the largest giraffe born at The Living Desert.

“We are so excited to share the wonderful news of our new addition. Mother and calf are bonding and doing very well,” said Allen Monroe, President/CEO of The Living Desert. “Every birth is special, and this giraffe birth is a fulfilling part of our mission, since Tuli and Hesabu were brought to The Living Desert based on Species Survival Plan recommendations.”

This is the second calf for Tuli, and eighth calf for Hesabu – their first calf together, Ayo, was born July 2, 2015. Tuli is 6 years old and came to The Living Desert in 2013 from the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Hesabu is 16 years old and has lived at The Living Desert since 2002.

“Tuli and her calf are doing very well. The well-baby exam on April 29, showed that all his vitals are within the normal range, and he is progressing as expected,” said Dr. Kevin Leiske, Veterinarian of The Living Desert.

The Living Desert is now home to a herd of eight giraffe, six males and two females. The calf will continue to bond with mom behind-the-scenes, and his exhibit debut will be announced soon.

Giraffe gestation is about 15 months. The calf will now nurse for nine to 12 months, and begin eating foliage at about four months. The giraffe will double his size in the first year of his life. Giraffe have their own individual spot-like markings and no two giraffe have the same pattern, similar to humans’ unique fingerprints.

Currently listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as vulnerable, giraffe populations have declined up to 40% over the last 30 years. Native to southern and eastern Africa, major threats to giraffe population is habitat loss and fragmentation, civil unrest, and ecological changes.

Visitors can get up-close and personal with these majestic animals by participating in the giraffe feedings from 11 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The cost is $5 per person or $4 for members.

About The Living Desert:
The Living Desert is an AZA-accredited zoo and gardens that is dedicated to desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation. It is a family-friendly place to explore nature and create meaningful experiences for guests that are remembered for a lifetime. For more information: (760) 346-5694 or visit The Living Desert is located at: 47900 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert, CA 92260.