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Frances Allen’s Desert Roundup—Living Desert Welcomes Latest Addition

Posted Monday, April 1, 2019 - 10:12 am

“March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.” This metrological mantra goes back at least as far as the 19th century when it was used as a prediction contingent on a year’s early March weather. If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.

We don’t do weather forecasting in this column, but an animal metaphor acknowledging the recent birth of a female giraffe at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert is defiantly noteworthy.

The yet-to-be-named calf was born to father, Hesabu (Heh-SAW-boo) and mother Dadisi (Da-dee-see). At birth, the calf had a height of just over six-feet and weighted in at 150 pounds.

This is the eighth calf for mom, Dadisi, who is 18 years old and has lived at The Living Desert since 2002. This is her third female calf. This is the 10th calf for father Hesabu, who passed away in December 2018 after a decline in his health. The Living Desert is home to a herd of nine giraffe: five males and four female.

Giraffe gestation is about 15 months—the calf will nurse for nine to 12 months and begin eating foliage around two months old. The giraffe will double her size in the first year of her life. Giraffes have their own individual spot-like markings and no two giraffe have the same pattern, similar to human fingerprints.

Currently listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as vulnerable, giraffe populations have declined up to 40 percent over the past 30 years. There are fewer than 98,000 in the world. Native to southern and eastern Africa, major threats to giraffe population is habitat fragmentation, civil unrest and climate change.

The Living Desert is an AZA-accredited zoo and gardens that is dedication to desert conversation through preservation, education and appreciation.

For more information about The Living Desert and Gardens as well feeding the giraffes, call 760-346-5694.

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