Press Room


Harold Matzner generously named The Living Desert’s new addition

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

It’s official! Today, on World Giraffe Day, The Living Desert Zoo & Garden’s baby giraffe has officially been named - Harold. Harold Matzner, long-time supporter of The Living Desert, eponymously named the giraffe through a generous gift of $50,000.

Harold, the giraffe, is the tallest giraffe calf to be born at The Living Desert – born on Friday, April 28, the male calf measured six feet three inches and weighed over 185 pounds at his well-baby exam on May 1. He was born to mother, Tuli, and father, Hesabu, and is currently on exhibit with the herd.

“The Living Desert is a wonderful cultural organization, and I’m proud to support the important work they do, including their work with giraffe conservation,” said Harold Matzner. “My hope is that our community continues to care about the plight of the giraffe in the wild, and I invite the community to visit Harold, the giraffe, and the rest of the herd at The Living Desert.”

Harold Matzner’s significant gift will help support The Living Desert’s giraffe conservation projects, such as the Wild Nature Institute’s Celebrating Africa’s Giants: Environmental Education for Conservation of Giraffes, Elephants, and Rhinoceroses. The Living Desert will be sending a representative to Tanzania this fall to help build community support for conservation efforts that will ensure the long-term survival of Africa’s giants through environmental education. Harold’s gift will also support the care and feeding of the giraffe herd, educational programming such as school field trips, as well as exhibit and infrastructure improvements at The Living Desert.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of Harold Matzner and his love for The Living Desert,” said Jan Hawkins, Director of Development at The Living Desert. “By sharing his name with the baby giraffe, Harold is also sharing his commitment to the future of desert wildlife here in the Coachella Valley and around the world.”

Guests can get up-close and personal with these majestic animals by participating in the giraffe feedings daily from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is $5 per person or $4 for members.

World Giraffe Day is an initiative of the Giraffe Conservation Fund (GCF) and helps raise awareness and conservation efforts for giraffes, with less than 80,000 remaining in the wild. The vision of the GCF is that of “a sustainable future where all giraffe populations and (sub)species are protected and secure in the wild.” The Living Desert is one of many zoos and organizations throughout the world participating in this special day and what it represents.

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.