"Zawadi" was selected by guests through donations towards conservation efforts
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo announced today that the new African Masai giraffe calf will be named Zawadi, following a successful donation voting drive to support giraffe conservation efforts.
The winning name, which means "gift" in its native language, was selected after receiving the largest donation of $913.01. Donations for the naming contest totaled $2,314.96, which will go towards the Future for Wildlife Fund to help protect endangered giraffe populations.
"I want to thank all who participated in helping to name our baby giraffe and, more importantly, for your donations towards the Future for Wildlife," said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Executive Director Christopher Kuhar, PhD. "Zawadi is not only our newest giraffe, he is also an ambassador to his counterparts in the wild and each donation helps secure a positive future for his species."
Over the last few weeks, guests who visited the Ben Gogolick Giraffe Encounter were able to cast their vote with a donation to the Future for Wildlife Fund. Each of the names guests were able to select from pay homage to the young calf's father, Travis.
Runner-ups in the naming contest were:
- Ogbonna, or image of his father, which received $785.97
- Ikenna, or father's power, which received $400.44
- Abidemi, or born during father's absence, which received $215.45
The current giraffe population globally is estimated to be less than 80,000. Their numbers are declining across Africa--the population has decreased by nearly 40% in the last 15 years. The Future for Wildlife Fund helps protect giraffes by addressing poaching and illegal snaring, translocating animals to secure endangered populations, and also conducting studies on population and disease.
Zawadi continues to thrive since his birth on August 6, 2017, and has gained more than 50 pounds and grown about a foot. He now weighs more than 210 pounds and stands more than 7 feet tall. He has been enjoying time with his mother, Jhasmin, and the rest of the herd at the Ben Gogolick Giraffe Encounter. The habitat offers guests the opportunity to handfeed giraffes and learn more about giraffe conservation.
CLEVELAND METROPARKS ZOO
Since 1995, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has contributed more than $6 million to wildlife conservation efforts in partnership with Cleveland Zoological Society. Each year the Zoo contributes more than $600,000 annually to conservation programs, the vast majority come from community donations. While visiting Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, guests can take action to secure a future for wildlife. Visitors can donate through 'Quarters for Conservation,' 'round-up' for conservation programs at Zoo retail locations and donate to the Zoo's Wildlife Conservation Fund. To learn more or join our conservation community, visit futureforwildlife.org