Unique Spotless Giraffe Gets a Fitting Name

She's dubbed Kipekee, which means 'unique' in Swahili
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2023 10:35 AM CDT
Unique Spotless Giraffe Gets a Fitting Name
This undated photo provided by Brights Zoo in Limestone, Tenn., shows a plain brown female reticulated giraffe that was born on July 31, 2023, at the family-owned zoo.   (Tony Bright/Brights Zoo via AP)

The rare spotless giraffe born at a Tennessee zoo now has a fitting name. After an online vote, the baby giraffe was named Kipekee, which means "unique" in Swahili. Some 40,000 people from around the world weighed in, chosing Kipekee over Firyali ("unusual" or "extraordinary"), Shakiri ("she is most beautiful"), and Jamella ("one of great beauty"), per NPR. Kipekee nabbed just over 16,000 votes, with Shakiri coming in second with more than 10,000, according to the Today show, which first reported the outcome of the vote.

"For a lot of guests we talked to, that was the easiest name for a child to say," said David Bright, director of the Brights Zoo in Limestone, where the 5-week-old female calf resides. Kipekee is thought to be the only reticulated giraffe in the world without spots. Reticulated giraffes are a subspecies native to the Horn of Africa, where Swahili is spoken. Kipekee is "very laid-back, still curious about everything, checking everything out every day," Bright said. Standing about 6 feet tall at birth, the giraffe will likely reach 14 feet to 15 feet tall. (More giraffes stories.)

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