ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix Zoo’s baby giraffe shares name with ‘Lion King’ character

Jul 30, 2018, 10:40 AM | Updated: 1:46 pm
(Phoenix Zoo Photo)...
(Phoenix Zoo Photo)
(Phoenix Zoo Photo)

PHOENIX — After nearly 16,000 votes were cast, the Phoenix Zoo’s month-old giraffe has a name.

The zoo put seven Swahili words up for a public vote, and the winner by a landslide was Rafiki, which means friend.

It probably didn’t hurt that Rafiki was also the name of a beloved character in “The Lion King.”

The other choices were Asili (nature), Jasiri (brave), Kivuli (shadow), Mwishowe (finally/eventually), Nyusi (eyebrows) and Subira (patience).

Rafiki ran away with it, getting the nod from nearly 40 percent of the voters.

In the end, 6,244 of the 15,928 votes cast were for Rafiki. Jasiri was next with 4,810 votes, followed by Subira with 1,667.

The Masai giraffe calf, who was born June 26, hasn’t made her public debut yet. She has been bonding in the barn with her 7-year-old mother, Imara.

Zoo officials hope mom and baby will be out roaming the Savanna habitat soon.

After more than a decade without a giraffe being born at the zoo, Rafiki was the second calf to arrive in less than a year.

In September, a Masai giraffe called Sunshine gave birth to a female calf named Siku. She was the first giraffe born at the zoo in 12 years.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Democrat Katie Hobbs (left) and Republican Kari Lake, candidates for governor in Arizona's 2022 gen...
Kevin Stone

Here’s how Hobbs-Lake race for Arizona governor echoes 2016 presidential contest

A Valley pollster says the way the race for governor in Arizona is starting reminds him of a previous matchup between a fiery media personality and an established politician.
14 hours ago
(Photo by Jeff Topping/Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Storms on Friday, Saturday could bring flooding, over 2 inches of rain to most of metro Phoenix

A meteorologist says the strongest storm system of the monsoon season will hit metro Phoenix over the next couple of days.
14 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/City of Mesa)...
KTAR.com

ASU film, digital media school opens in downtown Mesa

And ... action! Students in film, video production and digital technology will begin fall classes Thursday at the new Arizona State University campus in downtown Mesa.
14 hours ago
Member of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce participate in a regional salon dinner in ...
Kevin Stone

Hispanic chamber holding national conference in Phoenix this fall, with preview event Thursday

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will hold its 2022 national conference in Phoenix this fall, with a kick-off reception set for Thursday night.
14 hours ago
(AP Photo, File/Nati Harnik)...
Associated Press

Arizona judges reject challenges to 2 voter initiatives for November ballot

Judges rejected challenges to two Arizona voter initiative on Wednesday, siding with proponents of a measure limiting so-called predatory debt collection and for one that would require people who fund political campaigns through nonprofit groups to be identified.
14 hours ago
Colleen Nussnaumer (Photo via Peoria Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Missing West Valley woman found safe, Silver Alert canceled

A Silver Alert for a missing West Valley woman was canceled Thursday after she was found safe, authorities said.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Phoenix Zoo’s baby giraffe shares name with ‘Lion King’ character