Just Like zebras have stripes and fish have scales, giraffes are instantly recognisable for their spots and extremely long necks. Therefore, a baby giraffe born at a Tennessee Zoo without spots has taken the world by storm.
Since breaking the internet, Zoo experts have said that it is believed the baby giraffe is the only of its species in the world to not have spots. A public naming contest for the baby
giraffe is underway, with visitors able to see the giraffe at the zoo. The four names for the public to choose from are “Kipekee” which means unique, “Firyali” which means unusual or extraordinary, “Shakiri” which means “She is the most beautiful”, and “Jamella” which means “one of great beauty”.
The last giraffe to be born without spots was back in 1972 in Tokyo, named Toshiko, born at Ueno Zoo.
Reticulated giraffes are a species of giraffe with brown and orange spots. Native to Africa, the Reticulated giraffe species was listed as endangered in 2018 by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.
Bright’s Zoo officials in Tennessee have stated that they hope the birth of the giraffe will raise awareness of the challenges that the species faces in the wild.
“The international coverage of our patternless baby giraffe has created a much-needed spotlight on giraffe conservation,” said Bright’s Zoo in a statement.
The wild population of Reticulated Giraffes has silently slipped into extinction, with 40 percent of the wild giraffe population lost in just the last three decades.
A family of rare white giraffes were spotted in Kenya in 2020, of which two were killed by poachers. International animal rights groups continue to protest the ethics of poaching.