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The Dallas Zoo's Famous Baby Giraffe Has A Name: Kipenzi

Dallas Zoo
The Dallas Zoo's baby giraffe has a name: Kipenzi.

The Dallas Zoo’s baby giraffe has a name: Kipenzi. And she’ll soon start appearing outdoors at the zoo.

The name was announced this morning on the Animal Planet livestream. The network has been streaming Kipenzi and her mom, Katie, for several weeks. Kipenzi was born earlier this month – a birth that was aired live on TV and streamed on the internet courtesy of Animal Planet.

Katie has become a celebrity and the zoo has been inundated with messages.

Kipenzi (pronounced kih-PEHN-zee) means “loved one” in Swahili, the zoo says.

Folks got to vote online for the name – the other contenders were Adia (uh-DEE-uh) and Kanzi (KAHN-zee).

Starting at 8 p.m., Reunion Tower in Dallas will light up with her name, as well as a giraffe pattern.

“We’re elated that so many people voted on the name of Katie’s calf,” Gregg Hudson, the Dallas Zoo’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Because so many asked for the baby to be named after their loved ones, ‘Kipenzi’ is a perfect choice to honor the spirit of those heartfelt requests.”

The web cameras will stay on until 7 a.m. Monday.

Starting early next week, Kipenzi will make regular appearances outdoors, depending on the weather, the zoo says.

Watch the livestream here

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.