‘Zawadi’ tops baby giraffe naming contest at Cleveland zoo

CLEVELAND (AP) — A northeast Ohio zoo says its baby giraffe has a name.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo says the African Masai giraffe born Aug. 6 will be called Zawadi, meaning “gift” in his native country.

The newborn has gained more than 50 pounds since birth and grown about a foot.

The zoo’s giraffe-naming contest raised more than $2,300 in support of the Future for Wildlife Fund. The fund helps protect endangered giraffe populations by addressing poaching and snaring and supporting wildlife translocation and research.

The global giraffe population stands at fewer than 80,000, with numbers plummeting by 40 percent across Africa over the past 15 years.

Runner-up names paid homage to Zawadi’s father, Travis.

They were Ogbonna, meaning “image of his father”; Ikenna, meaning “father’s power”; and Abidemi, meaning “born during father’s absence.”

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