OKC Zoo encourages giraffe fans to help name second giraffe calf of 2021.
Heads up! The second giraffe calf to be born at the Oklahoma City Zoo in 2021 needs a name. The OKC Zoo is thrilled to invite giraffe lovers high and wide to participate in an online naming contest for its newest animal family member, a female giraffe calf, born to first-time mom, Julu, 6.
The naming contest will be held now through Sunday, October 3. Zoo fans are able to choose from four name choices listed on the Zoo’s website at okczoo.org/giraffecalf. Individuals of all ages are welcome to vote. The winning name will be announced on Tuesday, October 5, on the Zoo’s Facebook page.
Julu’s female calf, born September 15, 2021, continues to reach milestones as expected. She’s shown interest in taste-testing browse and has started the process of integrating into the Zoo’s giraffe tower of six individuals, beginning with introductions with four-month-old giraffe calf, Kioni, and 21-year-old, Ellie. The Zoo’s hoofstock caretakers have selected four name options representative of their connection to the calf. The name choices are as follows:
- Najuma (Na-juma): Caretakers choice! Swahili for abounding joy. Inspired by the last name of Oklahoma City civil rights activist, Ayanna Najuma, who participated in the 1958 sit-in at Katz Drug Store, Oklahoma City, when she was seven years old.
- Acacia (A-kay-sha): An African tree that giraffes consume.
- Mosi (Mo-sey): Swahili for first child.
- Njeri (N-jeri): Means warrior.
Native to East and Southern Africa, giraffes are the tallest land animals, reaching heights of roughly 14 feet for females and 18 feet for males. Julu’s calf was five-feet-seven-inches at birth and has already grown a few inches taller. The gestation period for giraffes is approximately 15 months. Newborns can stand within an hour of birth at an average weight of about 150 pounds. The International Union for Conservation Nature list giraffe as vulnerable to critically endangered. Over the past 30 years, wild giraffe populations have declined over 40 percent since the 1980s due to habitat destruction and illegal poaching. The Zoo is proud to be an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) SAFE: Saving Animals from Extinction giraffe partner organization member, a program created by AZA in 2017. The Zoo also contributes to giraffe conservation by supporting the Northern Rangelands Trust and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation Fund.
Hoof it over to the Zoo’s website to name our long-awaited giraffe calf at okczoo.org/giraffecalf. The Oklahoma City Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. Purchase advance tickets at www.okczoo.org/tickets and avoid the entry lines. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Stay connected with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming a ZOOfriends member. Starting at $45, memberships can be purchased at ZOOfriends.org and provide access to the OKC Zoo for an entire year plus, additional benefits and discounts. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.