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Newborn Giraffe Needs a Name: Indianapolis Zoo Asks For Help

Feb 10, 2016 02:44 PM EST
Giraffe Calf
Indianapolis' newest baby giraffe, to be named by public vote.
(Photo : Indianapolis Zoo/Facebook)

The Indianapolis Zoo needs your help in naming their newest baby giraffe. The reticulated giraffe, also known as a Somali giraffe, was born Jan. 9 and is the zoo's first giraffe calf since 2011. At only a month old, the male calf stands about six-feet-tall and weighs 158 pounds. 

This is the zoo's first baby of 2016. He was born to 18-year-old mother Takasa and the zoo's bull, Majani. Keepers note that the calf's coloration is very similar to his father's, with pale, caramel-colored spots in contrast with Takasa's cinnamon-colored spots.

As the tallest land mammals on the planet, Giraffes are under threat from habitat loss in their native sub-Saharan Africa environments. 

The zoo's giraffe herd will remain in a heated indoor facility throughout the winter, so the newborn calf will be introduced to the public in the spring. 

In the meantime, the zoo is holding a contest to name the baby. The three pre-selected names include Amazu, meaning "no one knows everything" in Nigerian; Jengo, a Swahili word meaning "building" or "construction"; and Mshangao, meaning "amazement" or "surprise" in Swahili. 

The poll will open on the Indianapolis Zoo's Facebook page until Feb. 23. The baby's official name will be announced on Feb. 24. 

Facebook users who like the zoo's page can vote for their favorite name once a day. One lucky fan will win a plush giraffe and four zoo tickets.

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-Follow Samantha on Twitter @Sam_Ashley13

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