Public gets to name Dallas Zoo’s baby giraffe

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Mom Chrystal shares a touching moment with her new calf, whose name will be chosen by a public vote, thanks to a generous donor. Cathy Burkey/Dallas Zoo

Mom Chrystal shares a touching moment with her new calf, whose name will be chosen by a public vote, thanks to a generous donor. Cathy Burkey/Dallas Zoo

The donor who paid $50,000 to name the Dallas Zoo’s baby giraffe is opening the choice up for a public vote! Starting Wednesday, Nov. 5, we will launch a voting contest on our website bit.ly/DZName, where participants can select from three names chosen by the donor.

For the first time, we put an animal’s naming rights up for bid during a live auction at our annual fundraising gala, Zoo To Do, last Saturday. After a spirited auction, the winning bidder paid $50,000 to name the male calf, born Oct. 26.

“We’re very grateful to this special donor, and are happy to set this up to involve the public and local schools,” said Gregg Hudson, chief executive officer and president of the Dallas Zoo. “There is very high interest in this new calf and we can’t wait to see what his name will be.”

Mom Chrystal nurses her calf in the giraffe barn. Dallas Zoo/Cathy Burkey

Mom Chrystal nurses her calf in the giraffe barn. Dallas Zoo/Cathy Burkey

The generous donor, who is a longtime zoo supporter and animal lover, wishes to remain anonymous, but has requested that the public be involved in the naming of the giraffe. The voting contest also will benefit Dallas/Fort Worth area children. Voters will be asked to nominate a DFW-area school they’d like to win a free animal visit from our Animal Adventures team. The winning school will be randomly selected.

The donor has selected the three following African names:

  1. Kopano – from Botswana, meaning “united”
  2. Usawa – “equality” in Swahili
  3. Shingo – “neck” in Swahili

Voting ends Sunday (Nov. 9), at 5 p.m. The winning name and school will be announced Monday, Nov. 10.

The entire $50,000 will go to conservation groups helping giraffes in the wild. Fewer than 4,700 reticulated giraffes remain in Africa, and the Dallas Zoo has long partnered with various groups to help protect endangered species around the world. The zoo’s animal welfare team is currently working to determine which groups will receive money from the donation.

Born just over a week ago, the Zoo’s energetic 6-foot-tall giraffe calf is doing well. Over the past few days, he’s had brief introductions with the rest of the zoo’s 12-member herd. His first-time mother, Chrystal, is embracing motherhood tremendously, keeping a watchful eye over her calf at all times.

Categories: Africa, Conservation, Giraffe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “Public gets to name Dallas Zoo’s baby giraffe

  1. Glenda McCray

    Shingo

  2. Matt Townsend

    Shingo

  3. crystal reyes

    I think you should name the calf Kopano because it means United and the calf will always be United with her mom and people In the zoo. Names have to mean something special…

  4. crystal reyes

    Club hill elementary garland texas is the school of my choose to have a great day at the zoo..

  5. Faith Waulker

    Kopano

  6. Carol

    Shingo

  7. eromosele joyce

    shingo

  8. Jonathan

    Usawa – “equality” in Swahili

  9. Linda carranza

    Shingo

  10. Debbie Flores

    Kapano

  11. Sally Walsh

    Love the name Kopano.

  12. JANIS CHANDLER

    i like Kopano it has a awesome sound to it and it fits the moment UNITED………I ALSO WANT TO THANK DALLAS ZOO………..FOR INCLUDING US TO BE PART OF THIS VERY PRECIOUS MOMENT …….ANIMALS ARE A BLESSING FROM GOD………..AGAIN THANK YOU

  13. Bev Davidson

    1. Kopano

  14. Michelle Hernandez

    Shingo…Epic Homeschooling Group

  15. Lisa Harris

    My vote is Shingo – “neck” in Swahili

  16. Kopano

    Kopano is the best name! It fits!

  17. Faith Adede

    Shingo

  18. Ashley Mwape

    Kopano!

  19. Anna

    Shingo
    Lake Point Elementary

  20. I like the name Kopano

    Thank you
    Robin

  21. Presley and Jackson Clark

    We like Shingo! Easy to say!

  22. Lacey Moore

    #1 I think is the best and it described something so impt the world has forgotten and I’m afraid we will till its to late…this name is beautiful.

  23. Rossitto

    MABEL, ( mothers always bring extra love

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