The Virginia Zoo’s baby giraffe is named Joshua! Of the top three names, Joshua was the crowd favorite, capturing a majority of the votes. Sebastian was second, followed by Jabari meaning brave and fearless in Swahili.
Zoo staff submitted their favorite names that the public could choose for the giraffe. Members of the public voted on the names at virginiazoo.org through midnight September 6, 2015.
“We appreciate the almost 4,000 people that participated in naming the baby. This naming contest gives our community the opportunity to be a part of the Zoo family,” comments Greg Bockheim, Executive Director. “The Zoo staff has been anxiously awaiting to call this baby giraffe by name.”
The male giraffe calf was born on July 23 to experienced mother Imara and father Billy. At birth, the calf weighed in at 152 pounds and measured in at 75 inches tall – that’s 6.25 feet!
Masai giraffe are the largest subspecies of giraffe and the tallest land mammal on Earth. Males reach heights of up to 18 feet and females can grow to 14 feet. Giraffes may bear one offspring after a 15-month gestation period. Newborn giraffes can stand and walk within an hour of birth. They can eat leaves at four months old, but continue to nurse until 6 to 9 months.
Mom, dad, baby Joshua and Noelly can be visited in the Zoo’s Africa – Okavango Delta exhibit.