The Cincinnati Zoo announced the name chosen by animal lovers for its new baby giraffe. Officials say the female calf will be called "Lulu."
More than 4,000 people suggested names for the female calf, born last Friday morning. Keepers selected their three favorites-Mara, Lulu, and Rosie and then put it to a vote on their Facebook page.
Lulu won my more than 2,000 votes.
Lulu and her parents Tessa and Kimba are currently on display in their indoor stall at Giraffe Ridge. Tessa and baby Lulu will be making their public debut, outdoors, in the coming weeks (weather pending).
The Cincinnati Zoo’s history with giraffe births dates back to 1889 when it became the first zoo in the Western Hemisphere to have a giraffe born in captivity. This will be Tessa’s second calf, her first calf, Zuri, was born in April 2011. At seven-weeks-old, Zuri fractured her leg in her indoor stall and after months of working with local equine specialists, the Zoo was forced to make the decision for the calf, to euthanize her on July 1, 2011. Although the numbers have decreased in the past century, giraffes are not currently endangered, but listed as “lower risk” with fairly stable populations.
Unlike many species, there is no true breeding season for the Maasai Giraffe and females can become pregnant beginning at just four years of age. In the wild up to 75% of the calves die in their first few months of life, mainly due to predation.