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Oakland Zoo seeks name for new giraffe, launches contest

PIX Now - Morning Edition 5/9/24
PIX Now - Morning Edition 5/9/24 11:33

The Oakland Zoo on Thursday asked for the public to vote on a name for a new male giraffe that recently arrived at the zoo.

The 13-month-old and 10-foot-tall giraffe came from the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans and arrived at the Oakland Zoo in a specially designed carrier on Tuesday night.

The zoo has given people on social media the chance to pick one of three names in Swahili—the language spoken in the giraffe's native region—and the winner of what could be a neck and neck race will be announced on Monday.

The Oakland Zoo welcomed a 13-month-old giraffe from the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans on May 7, 2024. Oakland Zoo

The options are are Enzi (meaning "powerful"), Nuru (meaning "the light") and Kovu (meaning "scar"). People can vote for their favorite name by visiting the zoo's profiles on Facebook, Instagram or X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

The giraffe, which is now one of six at the zoo, came to Oakland as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Program, which seeks to ensure the sustainability of a healthy and genetically diverse giraffe population, zoo officials said.

The giraffe will get accustomed to his new surroundings and his fellow giraffes through sounds, smells and sight from through a fence before being moved in with the rest of the herd at the zoo's African Savanna area when the zoo's veterinary team determines he is ready.

"He is a brave and bold giraffe who's adjusting quite well," Oakland Zoo zoological manager Amy Phelps said in a statement. "We're thrilled to get to know him and watch him develop a bond with his new herd at the zoo."

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