Indy Zoo asks public to help name baby giraffe

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INDIANAPOLIS —  The Indianapolis Zoo (Indy Zoo) is inviting the public to help name its newest male reticulated giraffe calf.

Indy Zoo said the newborn male giraffe is nearly two weeks old now, and he needs a name! Zookeepers have preselected three names and the option that receives the most votes will become the calf’s name.

The choices are: Kendi (KEN-dee), an African name that means “loved one”; Tumaini (too-MAH-ee-nee), a Swahili word meaning “hope”; and Zane, an African name that means “noble”. 

To participate, visit Indy Zoo on Facebook to take the poll.

The first calf for 3-year-old mother Kita was born at 4:35 a.m. Sunday, November 8. Indy Zoo said Kita had a 14-month pregnancy, and gave birth standing up, as female giraffes do. 

Zoo officials said the unnamed calf weighed 137 lbs and stood about 6’ tall at birth!

Indy Zoo said the giraffes will spend much of the winter inside its climate-controlled indoor facility, but guests will have an opportunity to meet members of the herd up close in springtime during public feeds.

More giraffe facts from Indy Zoo:

  • While their arrival into the world is somewhat abrupt, newborn giraffes are extremely resilient and are typically up on their feet in less than an hour. 
  • Native to Sub-Saharan Africa, giraffes bear a beautiful coat of brown spots that helps provide camouflage on the arid plains.
  • The tallest mammal on land, giraffes are one of Africa’s most iconic species, yet they are still vulnerable to extinction. 
  • To support a healthy population of animals in human care, the Zoo maintains an active giraffe breeding program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan. 

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