Meet Rafiki: the baby giraffe at the Phoenix Zoo has been named

PHOENIX - The baby female giraffe at the Phoenix Zoo has a name.

Meet Rafiki.

Her name means "friend" in Swahili, the language of the Swahili people in East Africa. It was also the name that more than 6,000 people voted for.

The Phoenix Zoo held a naming contest with six Swahili-inspired names. Nearly 16,000 people voted in the contest, the zoo said.

The top three names were:

  • Rafiki - 6,244 votes
  • Jasir - 4,810 votes
  • Subira - 1,667 votes

Rafiki was born on June 26. She has been bonding and being cared for by her mom, Imara, in the off-exhibit giraffe barn since her birth.

The zoo said it would "still be at least a couple of weeks" before mom and the calf are out on the Savannah display.

Rafiki's birth marked the second giraffe calf at the zoo in less than a year. Siku, a female giraffe, was born in September 2017.

At the time, Siku's birth marked the first giraffe calf to be born at the Phoenix Zoo in 12 years.

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