Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 4:24 pm | Fair 65º

 
 
 
 

Ranchera Singer’s Children Pay Visit to Giraffes, Present $5,000 Donation to Santa Barbara Zoo

Leonardo and Angela Aguilar, the children of Ranchera singer Pepe Aguilar and grandchildren of Antonio Aguilar, feed lettuce to the Masai giraffes during a visit to the Santa Barbara Zoo on Tuesday. Click to view larger
Leonardo and Angela Aguilar, the children of Ranchera singer Pepe Aguilar and grandchildren of Antonio Aguilar, feed lettuce to the Masai giraffes during a visit to the Santa Barbara Zoo on Tuesday. (L. Paul Mann / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Leonardo and Angela Aguilar, the children of Ranchera singer Pepe Aguilar and grandchildren of the iconic Antonio Aguilar, came to the Santa Barbara Zoo on Tuesday.

As the two beaming teenagers made their way to the giraffe exhibit on a beautiful late summer morning, it was clear to observant early bird tourists that something special was happening in front the mammoth Masai giraffes. In fact, the pair had come to offer a special $5,000 donation with their sponsor, Nederlander Concerts, for  their favorite zoo animals.

The young singers offered up an oversize check, together with Rena Wasserman, senior vice president of operations for Nederlander Concerts, to an appreciative Rich Block, CEO of the zoo.

The giraffe population at the zoo has swelled since the towering virile male named Michael arrived in 2012. The donation was partly in celebration of the birth of Parker, the sixth calf to be sired by Michael since he arrived.

After the brief ceremony, the siblings gleefully fed the giraffes copious quantities of lettuce. As they fed the majestic animals, the pair answered questions peppered from various Latin news crews. They also announced that they would be appearing with their father, Pepe, as part of the ongoing Nederlander concert series at the Arlington Theatre on Sept. 29.

The multi-Grammy-winning Pepe Aguilar took over the mantle of traditional Mexican pop music from his father, Antonio, who was the godfather of modern ranchera, mariachi, corrido and banda music. Pepe Aguilar first appeared on stage at age 3 with his father at Madison Square Garden. Antonio Aguilar purportedly is the only Hispanic artist to have sold out six consecutive nights at the massive New York arena. Pepe Aguilar has continued the tradition of  “La Dinastia Aguilar,” employing Leonardo and Angela as his guest singers.

The show is sure to sell out. Click here for ticket information.

The Santa Barbara Zoo is a nonprofit organization dependent on private donations. The hilltop park is one of the most beautiful and intimate zoos in the country, with spectacular ocean and mountain views of Santa Barbara surrounding it. You can even feed the giraffes, as well as many of the other animals.

Click here for more information about the Santa Barbara Zoo.

— L. Paul Mann is a Noozhawk contributing writer. The opinions expressed are his own.

Angela and Leonardo Aguilar, left, with sponsor Nederlander Concerts, presents a $5,000 donation to the Santa Barbara Zoo to support its animals. Click to view larger
Angela and Leonardo Aguilar, left, with sponsor Nederlander Concerts, presents a $5,000 donation to the Santa Barbara Zoo to support its animals. (L. Paul Mann / Noozhawk photo)

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