Dallas Zoo opens voting for viral star giraffe calf’s name

Katy's giraffe baby The millions of people worldwide who’ve fallen in love with our new viral star giraffe calf at the Dallas Zoo can now vote on the new baby’s name: Adia, Kanzi, or Kipenzi.

Voting is free, but fans also have the chance to help rescue and support threatened wildlife in Africa, including giraffes. A generous friend of the Dallas Zoo has agreed to match any donations made in the baby’s honor, up to $25,000. All donations will go to conservation efforts around the world.

CLICK HERE to vote now. Voting closes at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, and the name will be announced the next day. Katie and her calf continue to be streamed live online at Animal Planet L!VE at apl.tv.

“We’ve heard from many people around the world that say Katie and her baby are now a part of their family after witnessing this remarkable live birth on Animal Planet,” said Gregg Hudson, Dallas Zoo’s president and CEO. “We want those people to feel included in the calf’s name. We can’t wait to see which one is chosen.”

The zoo also has been overwhelmed with heartfelt requests to name the calf after loved ones: children lost to cancer, missing family members, relatives with autism who were touched deeply by the live birth, first responders who gave their lives in service of others, former zoo staffers, and more. However, given the number of requests, it simply wasn’t possible to recognize just one special person.

Instead, Katie’s keepers chose the three Swahili names, all with meanings that honor the spirit of those requests:

–          Adia – “a gift” (pronounced uh-DEE-uh)

–          Kanzi – “a treasure” (KAHN-zee)

–          Kipenzi – “loved one” (kih-PEHN-zee)

Baby Giraffe goes outside for first time “We have been profoundly touched by your stories, and we feel your grief and your pride,” Hudson said. “We have read every post, tweet and email, often with tears in our eyes. We hope those who have reached out will find comfort in knowing that the Dallas Zoo will always think of their loved ones as we care for this calf in the coming years.”

The Dallas Zoo has a recent policy of naming animals after their native home — for example, 5-month-old giraffe Kopano’s name means “united” — to further conservation messages about the plight of animals in the wild.

Mom Katie delivered the calf, weighing 139 pounds and standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall, live on Animal Planet television and Animal Planet L!VE streaming. Viewers cheered Katie on as she pushed for nearly an hour to deliver the calf, and over the next hours as the wobbly little one tried to stand, took her first steps and began nursing.

Every dime raised from donations linked to the vote will go to conservation efforts. Although the Dallas Zoo is a non-profit zoological park itself, we will use 100% of the donations for conservation efforts around the globe. The zoo partners with many organizations to save animals from extinction, including the Cheetah Conservation Fund, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the Tarangire Elephant Project, and more.

Categories: Africa, Giraffe, Mammals, Media, Social Media, Veterinary Care, Zookeepers | Tags: , , | 36 Comments

Post navigation

36 thoughts on “Dallas Zoo opens voting for viral star giraffe calf’s name

  1. sarah


  2. Laura McKenna

    I vote for Kipenzi!

  3. Nancy S


  4. Catherine

    I’ve seen the delivred calf live …. (sorry I’m french) I said myself oh she’s the love one …. I love the name Kipenzi !! She’s so cute and thanks for the beautiful moment ! I’m from Alberta,Canada

  5. this is the perfect girl name and she is very cute Katie is so lucky to have such a cute baby girl

  6. Gail

    I am voting for “Adia” because it sounds different from Katie, and I think this little darling deserves to have her own, special name. From her first night on Earth, she has exhibited a spunky, independent attitude. And since the name means, “Gift,” that is even better, because she is a gift to the world.

  7. Adia

    Can’t wait to see this beautiful baby!

  8. Kanzi

    The Dallas Zoo Treasure! I was one of the thousands watching the birth.

  9. Daphnia

    Just voted! And made a little donation! The entertainment this “adorable baby” has given my family the past 5-6 days “priceless”.

  10. Jenny Bliss

    Kanzi – as she is truly a treasure!

  11. Andi Abernathy

    I vote Adia.

  12. Torie

    I love the name Kipenzi it fits her

  13. Molly Asbury


  14. Debbie Wilson


  15. Jeana

    I think Kipenzi is an appropriate name for this giraffe.


    ” See Me ” is the name I have chosen since how can you miss seeing me.

  17. Dottie Crosby

    Well we wanted to choose Afia, African for Born on Friday, but we understand. So we choose Adia and we still do not know if it is a girl or a boy!!

  18. Ann Edwards

    Love the giraffe cam and watch it all the time! Love to Katie and her baby, who has now become OUR baby!❤️ Thank you for sharing.

  19. nancy

    Thank you for sharing her! So we can watch her on can. I see she is outside today, is there a video so we can see her run!? Wishing her years of good health;)

  20. Beth Everett

    Kipenzi is fun to say. Long Tall Sally would be my second vote:-)

  21. Kapenzi pls


    Waiting and watching Katie give birth, has forever changed how I have looked at “ALL” of our precious and majestic wildlife. I brought back the love in my heart that has been lost. I only wish that I had a way to come see Katie and the baby in person, I live in Florida and can’t afford to fly there to see her, maybe someday I hope. Thank you all for bringing my loving heart back to me!

    • Lydia Jennings

      Lisa, that was so rewarding for us to hear. That’s our whole mission — helping people make meaningful connections to wildlife. This message truly touched us, so thank you.

  23. i was so excited to see the calf born. i felt like i was right there. i have been watching all of it since the news the calf could be coming any time. i just wish that i could touch the calf. i am still watching her. her mama and the calf is so enjoyable. my husband calls the calf, midget. i just laugh when he said that.i love animals. they are so enjoyable.

  24. Joyce

    Kipenzi – she is “loved” by anyone who has been watching her, me included.

  25. Jennifer Groschen

    Name her “Nahla”. She’s adorable

  26. Mary Mieth

    I just love Adia for baby’s name. So yes that’s my pick. I have voted and my son has voted. Everyone is still so excited about Katie and baby still. Being disabled I have discussed with my son maybe trying to make the trip to the Dallas Zoo one day. Still this way with Animal Planet at least I can enjoy the beauty by video. My passion all my life has been elephants(collect figurines). Girrafes (a few in my collections) are my next. Now a tie. If any cameras go outside I would be paying the fee or donation and watching constantly. Dallas Zoo ya’ll are AWSOME!

  27. Martha Murray

    What’s ‘stretch’ in Somali? Fidnaan OR Kala-Bixid.

  28. Anna

    I think a good name for Katie’s calf would be Dallas Kanzi. Race horses have 2 names. I’ve always heard every things big in Texas! “Lol”. If Katie’s baby ever visited another zoo, they would know she’s the famous Dallas treasure. I love her:)

  29. susan

    Thank you so much for allowing us to witness this miracle, and fall in love with Katie and her baby….

  30. Cheryl Guglomo

    Love watching Katie and her calf on the webcam. When will they
    go outside so the calf can be introduced to the other giraffes?

  31. It’s been 11 days since the baby was born and we are glued to alive cams. These majestic animals are our family now. Please keep showing them forever. Thanks

  32. How much longer do you plan on showing us the giraffes ? I hope from now on –seems like
    we are all family now after watching this baby born!
    Not only do I love watching the animals I am able to see a small amount of just how you & your
    staff do to care for these animals! Just GREAT !!!
    THanks again

  33. Patricia Kiehne "Bella"

    My name is Isabella “Bella” and I am 2 1/2 years old. My grandma is typing this letter for me since I can’t write just yet.

    I am a healthy little girl like your new giraffe, so any name I pick will be because we share good health. My Ma Ma has been in love with giraffes ever since before I was born so naturally I love them as well. Ma Ma has 115 in her home (they are not real of course) that I hope to see someday. She has started my collection and I now have 8 and still growing.
    Please name the new baby a name we kids can pronounce since we are all new at communicating.
    HOW ABOUT………. Tess-Wana “Tess

    Isabella “Bella” Marie Monk
    Ma Ma

  34. I think the baby’s name should be kipenzi because of what it means <3 (:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Brought to you by the Dallas Zoo