MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County Zoo is happy to announce the name of its newest giraffe is Tafari. Tafari is a word from African origin meaning “he who inspires awe.”
The Zoo invited visitors to choose their favorite name for the youngster through online voting on the Zoo’s website beginning October 9th. The Zoo received over 5,000 votes for five different name choices.
Tafari as born the morning of September 16th to first-time mom Ziggy, and first-time dad, Bahatika.
On September 17th, veterinarians completed the calf’s first exam, and recorded a weight of 157 pounds, and a height of 5 feet 9 inches tall. Zookeepers have been monitoring mother and baby; Ziggy has been very attentive to the calf which is nursing regularly.
Ziggy is 5 years old, and arrived at the Milwaukee County Zoo in 2013 from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Bahatika is 10 years old, and arrived here in 2006 from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado.
In the wild, giraffes are found throughout the savannas of Africa. They walk around, often with birds on their backs. These birds are called tickbirds. They eat bugs that live on the giraffe’s coat, and alert the animals to danger by chirping loudly.
Although not threatened by extinction, the wild giraffe population is less than 80,000 and decreasing; but exact numbers are uncertain.