LIMESTONE, Tenn. – A private zoo in northeastern Tennessee announced the birth of a rare, spotless reticulated giraffe.
Brights Zoo, located near Limestone, announced on Monday that the spotless, solid-brown colored female giraffe was born on July 31, WCYB-TV reported.
“Giraffe experts believe she is the only solid-colored reticulated giraffe living anywhere on the planet,” Brights Zoo said in a news release, according to WJHL-TV.
“From Day One we’ve been in contact with zoo professionals all over the country,” Brights Zoo director, David Bright said, according to WJHL. “And especially the old timers, that have been around for a long time, ‘Hey, have you seen this? What’s your thoughts?’ And nobody’s seen it.”
The giraffe at Brights Zoo is already 6 feet tall and is thriving under the care of her mother, according to WCYB.
Brights Zoo is a USDA-licensed, private institution accredited by the Zoological Association of America, “Today” reported.
Officials are conducting an online contest to name the giraffe beginning on Tuesday, according to WCYB. Balloting will last for two weeks.
The choices are Kipekee, which means unique in Swahili; Firyali, which means unusual or extraordinary; Shakiri, which translates as “she is most beautiful”; and Jamella, which means “one of great beauty.”
“(The Bright family has) looked at hundreds and thousands of names, their meanings,” David Bright told WJHL. “Those four are the four the family are all really attached to. So if she’s named one of those four, we’re very happy.”
“The international coverage of our patternless baby giraffe has created a much-needed spotlight on giraffe conservation,” Tony Bright, the founder of the zoo, said in a news release. “Wild populations are silently slipping into extinction, with 40% of the wild giraffe population lost in just the last three decades.”
“It’s better she’s born in captivity,” David Bright told WJHL. “In the wild, they use those spots for camouflage.
“By being solid colored, she may not be able to hide quite as well.”
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