Limestone’s Brights Zoo in Tennessee is celebrating the arrival of an extraordinary giraffe with no spots! Born on July 31, this one-of-a-kind reticulated giraffe is drawing a lot of attention.
The zoo has initiated a naming competition for the adorable giraffe, now open for viewing. This captivating creature is making waves not only due to its patternless appearance but also because experts believe it’s the only solid-colored reticulated giraffe on Earth.
David Bright, the zoo’s director, shared with CBS News that the last recorded spotless giraffe, named Toshiko, was documented back in 1972 at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. With the reticulated giraffes typically sporting brown and orange spots, this newfound patternless wonder is indeed a rarity.
Originating from Africa, reticulated giraffes faced endangerment in 2018, according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. Brights Zoo aims to spotlight the challenges these magnificent creatures confront in the wild through this headline-making addition.
Tony Bright, the founder of the zoo, stressed, “Our unique baby giraffe has put the spotlight on giraffe conservation internationally.” He expressed concern over the decline in wild giraffe populations, with a staggering 40% loss over the past three decades.
As excitement mounts, the zoo has narrowed down the list of potential names to four choices: Kipekee, signifying uniqueness; Firyali, meaning uncommon or exceptional; Shakiri, translating to “she is most beautiful”; and Jamella, representing “one of great beauty.”
In 2020, Kenya witnessed a rare phenomenon when a family of three white giraffes, affected by leucism causing loss of pigmentation, was spotted. Unfortunately, poachers claimed the lives of two, prompting conservationists to equip the surviving giraffe with a GPS tracker for protection.
CBS News has reached out to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and other experts to delve deeper into the story of this spotless wonder. Brights Zoo’s newest addition is indeed creating waves, shining a vital spotlight on the plight of these majestic creatures in the wild.”