Of the top five names, Kellen was the favorite, capturing a majority of the votes. Patches was second, followed by, Zarafa, Mandela and finally Twiga.
The baby giraffe was born June 6 to father Billy and mother Imara. At birth, the baby weighed in at 150 pounds and was 6 feet 4 inches tall.
Members of the public suggested names via a Web-based survey linked to the Virginia Zoo’s website and Facebook Fan Page up until July 15, after which, the top names were voted on by Zoo staff, members and social media followers. The winner from among the 115 people who submitted Kellen was selected at random and will receive a $200 Zoo gift shop shopping spree.
“I’d like to thank the nearly 4,000 people who submitted names and everyone who voted for participating, this contest has been really fun!” said Greg Bockheim, the Zoo’s executive director. “I’m happy to know that the Zoo and our baby giraffe have so many fans.”
Masai giraffe are the largest subspecies of giraffe and the tallest land mammal on Earth. Males reach heights of up to 18 feet tall and females can grow to 14 feet tall. Giraffes may bear one offspring after a 15-month gestation period. Newborn giraffe 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 and baby can be visited in the Zoo’s Africa – Okavango Delta exhibit.
Kellen, the Virginia Zoo’s baby giraffe in his habitat at the Zoo July 17, 2013 (Virginia Zoo photo by Winfield Danielson).
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As an accredited Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) facility, the Virginia Zoo exhibits more than 400 animals on 53 beautifully landscaped acres. For more than a century, the Virginia Zoo has demonstrated a commitment to education and conservation, and offered a fun-filled day for visitors of any age. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and located at 3500 Granby Street in Norfolk. Daily admission prices are $11 for adults, $10 for seniors (age 62 and over) and $9 for children ages 2-11. Children under 2 are admitted free. Visit www.virginiazoo.org or call (757) 441-2374 for more information.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2013
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Office: (757) 441-2374 ext. 223
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