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HomeNewsNashville Zoo announces Giraffe Birth and Naming Contest

Nashville Zoo announces Giraffe Birth and Naming Contest

Nashville ZooNashville, TN – Nashville Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a male Masai giraffe. The calf was born Thursday, July 9th, weighing 171 lbs. and standing 6 feet, 6 inches tall. He and mom Margarita are doing well in the Zoo’s state-of-the-art giraffe barn.

“While this is Margarita’s fourth calf, it is actually the first male born here at Nashville Zoo,” said Lanny Brown, mammal curator. “Masai giraffes are not very common at zoos, so his birth is great news for the captive population.”

The giraffe will make his public debut on Saturday, July 25th. At this time, the Zoo will also launch a naming contest that lets guests vote for their favorite of three options using a pair of old blue jeans.

Nashville Zoo Giraffe Calf. (Amiee Stubbs)
Nashville Zoo Giraffe Calf. (Amiee Stubbs)

The Three Options are:

  • Mkali – Swahili for “bright”
  • Mahali – Swahili for “spot”
  • Enzi – Swahili for “powerful”

All denim donations will be sent to Jeans for Giraffes (www.jeansforgiraffes.org), a conservation initiative that recycles denim into home insulation with proceeds benefitting giraffe conservation projects in Africa. The voting station will be set up at the giraffe exhibit, and each pair counts as one vote. Voting ends August 31st.

Masai giraffe are one of nine different sub-species and are known for their oak-leaf shaped spot pattern. They are native to the savannas of Kenya and Tanzania in Africa. With the addition of the calf, Nashville Zoo is home to three Masai giraffe and one reticulated giraffe.

Nashville Zoo’s 1.5 acre Giraffe Savannah opened in April 2006 thanks to contributions from philanthropist Mrs. Maggi Margaret Turner, the Vandewater family and hundreds of supporters who contributed to the Zoo’s “Stick Your Neck Out” campaign.

About Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is accredited by the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. Attracting more than 830,000 visitors annually, the Zoo is considered one of the top ­­­things to do in Nashville. The Zoo is a non-profit organization located at 3777 Nolensville Pike and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The mission of Nashville Zoo is to inspire a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation and leadership.

For more information about Nashville Zoo, call 615.833.1534 or visit nashvillezoo.org.


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