Dallas Zoo Baby Giraffe Gets A Name

April 24, 2015 | By Garrett Montgomery More

A Dallas Zoo baby giraffe has been given the name Kipenzi. The female baby giraffe was born at the Dallas Zoo last week as millions watched online, and Laurie Holloway, the director of communications and social media, announced that the public would be given the chance to vote for the name. Voters picked Kipenzi, which means “loved one” in Swahili.

dallas zoo baby giraffe

A Dallas Zoo baby giraffe is now known as Kipenzi. On April 10th, the Dallas Zoo welcomed a baby giraffe, and the incredible event was streamed live for millions to watch.

Animal Planet had ten cameras filming in the zoo’s maternity barn as Katie, a reticulated giraffe, delivered her female calf in about one hour. It is believed that Katie went through an average gestation period of approximately 15 months (453-464 days).

The baby giraffe weighed 139 lbs. and stood at 5 feet 10 inches, according to a statement issued by Laurie Holloway, the Dallas Zoo’s director of communications and social media.

Holloway explained that they took the decision to broadcast the birth in order to teach the public about the animal and hopefully push people to get involved in conservation efforts with groups or foundations that help preserve giraffes in Africa.

While giraffes are not endangered, their numbers are in rapid decline, there are about 80,000 wild giraffes in Africa, down from 140,000 in 1999. The Dallas Zoo also announced that Katie’s keepers had selected three Swahili names – Adia meaning “a gift,” Kanzi, which stands for “a treasure” and Kipenzi meaning “loved one” – for more than 50,000 people to vote on.

The votes are in – the name chosen for the Dallas Zoo’s new baby giraffe is Kipenzi. Gregg Hudson, the Dallas Zoo’s president and chief executive officer, said that they received many requests to name the baby giraffe after lost loved ones. He added:

“We’re elated that so many people voted on the name of Katie’s calf.Because so many asked for the baby to be named after their loved ones, ‘Kipenzi’ is a perfect choice to honor the spirit of those heartfelt requests.”

In case you were wondering, this is how baby giraffes are born:

“Giraffe give birth in a ‘calving ground’ and mothers will often return to where they were born to have their own babies. Giraffe have no formal breeding seasons as they are designed to be able to shift feeding patterns in order to maintain a high nutrient diet throughout most of the year. Calving is often synchronized to provide safety in numbers against predators. Giraffe give birth standing up, requiring the newborn to fall just under 2 meters to the ground! Designed for such an abrupt entry into the world, a newborn calf can stand up and run within an hour of being born.”

Next week, Kipenzi will be making her first appearances outdoors.

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