The Living Desert One-Month-Old Giraffe Calf Named Cole
PALM DESERT / INDIAN WELLS – (March 24, 2022) – The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is delighted to reveal the name of its newest giraffe, born on February 21. The month-old calf’s name is Cole. Longtime supporters of The Living Desert, Susan and Jim Gould, secured his naming rights to 29 of The Living Desert.and Annual Zoobilee Gala held March 4th.
“We are thrilled to reveal the name of our new little giraffe to the community,” said Allen Monroe. “Cole has captured all of our hearts since her very public debut, and as she grows she will continue to inspire guests of all ages to help protect these incredible animals.”
Cole was born to first-time parents, Shellie and Kelley, in the giraffe savannah habitat, weighed 143 pounds and was 5ft 10in tall. She now weighs around 200 pounds and is over six feet tall. Cole is now exploring the giraffe’s savannah habitat, along with his mother and the rest of the herd. The living desert is home to a herd of 10 giraffes.
“We named baby giraffe Cole after our son, James Colford “Cole” Gould, who tragically passed away at the age of 23,” shared Susan and Jim Gould, board members of The Living. Desert. “Cole, like countless children who visit The Living Desert, has always been filled with awe and wonder at The Living Desert and its Bighorn Railroad.”
Cole’s naming rights were secured at The Living Desert’s Wild Times Gala Live Auction. Gould’s winning bid of $75,000 will help support The Living Desert’s many education and conservation programs, like the Wild Nature Institute’s environmental education program that teaches ecological and social lessons, builds national pride of Tanzanian wildlife and motivates children to discover their natural world. .
“We are so grateful for Susan and Jim Gould’s generosity and love and support for The Living Desert,” said Jan Hawkins, Director of Development for The Living Desert. “The generosity of the Goulds demonstrates their commitment to the future of desert wildlife here in the Coachella Valley and around the world.”
Cole’s birth is a successful result of the Species Survival Plan (SSP®) recommendation, which ensures genetic sustainability and species diversity in human care. The gestation of the giraffe lasts about 15 months. Giraffe calves suckle for nine to 12 months and start eating foliage around four months. It will double in size in the first year of its life. Similar to human fingerprints, giraffes have their own individual dot-like markings and no two have the same pattern.
Currently listed by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as vulnerable, giraffe populations have declined by up to 40% over the past 30 years. There are less than 98,000 giraffes in the wild. Native to southern and eastern Africa, the main threats to the giraffe population are habitat loss and fragmentation, civil unrest and ecological change.
Guests can get up close to these majestic animals by partaking in the Giraffe Feedings from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., daily. The cost is $8 per person or $6 for members. For more information, visit www.LivingDesert.org or call (760) 346-5694.