Help Us Name #BabyLongLegs

TORONTO, ON, Friday, June 12, 2020: In the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 12, 2020, Your Toronto Zoo welcomed a healthy female Masai giraffe calf to mom, Mstari, and dad, Kiko, and we need YOUR help to give her a name! Beginning Friday, June 12, 2020 through Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 11:59 pm vote at for your favourite from the selected names below:

Amani - meaning peace

Jani - meaning leaf

Mapenzi - meaning love

Matumaini - meaning hope

Mosi - meaning first-born

Moyo - meaning heart

Umoja - meaning unity

Zahara - meaning flower

The Toronto Zoo is proud to collaborate with Mr. Sunir Chandaria, Honorary Consul of Kenya in Toronto, and the Zoo’s Giraffe Keepers to develop the list of potential names for #BabyLongLegs.

Through this important partnership, we were introduced to Mr. Masai Ujiri, President of the Toronto Raptors and co-founder of Giants of Africa – a non-profit organization with the of goal of changing the lives of countless boys and girls on the African continent through the power of sport. Ujiri is the first African-born president of an NBA team; in 2019, the Raptors won their first-ever NBA Championship, and became the first team outside the United States to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.

We are also excited to announce that #BabyLongLegs will be given the esteemed last name of Innis Dagg to honour Canadian Zoolologist Dr. Anne Innis Dagg. Dagg is a pioneer in the study of animal behaviour in the wild, and is credited with being the first to study wild giraffes and making significant contributions to research in the field. She has been appointed a Member of the Order of Canada and a documentary titled The Woman Who Loves Giraffes was made about her which retraces her original steps back to Africa where her trail-blazing journey began more than 50 years ago.

The name with the most votes will be announced on World Giraffe Day, Sunday, June 21, 2020 – so stay tuned! Can’t get enough #BabyLongLegs? Tune into the Toronto Star Giraffe Live Cam from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm to watch Kiko or Mstari and #BabyLongLegs CLICK HERE or tune into @TheTorontoZoo on Tuesdays for our Facebook Live at 1:00 pm for a giraffe calf update live from the Giraffe Habitat.

This is the first offspring for both mother Mstari, a six-year-old female born at the Toronto Zoo, and father Kiko, a seven-year-old male who came to Toronto Zoo from Greenville Zoo in South Carolina in 2015. The pairing of Kiko and Mstari was at the recommendation of the AZA Masai giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program among accredited zoos. Both mom and calf are doing well and Wildlife Care Keepers continue to monitor Mstari and calf closely to ensure she continues to nurse from Mstari regularly.

The Toronto Zoo supports field conservation efforts for this species in Africa through the Wild Nature Institute Masai Giraffe Conservation Program and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation's work in mitigating human-giraffe conflict in the Masai Mara in Kenya. In addition, the Zoo is  committing to work with the AZA’s Giraffe SAFE Program by supporting nine on the ground projects in Tanzania and Kenya.

To celebrate this exciting new addition, the Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy has launched a new campaign to raise $70,000 to support the growing giraffe family. The Room to Grow Campaign will support many different aspects and modifications including:

  • Increasing available space by reconfiguring the existing rooms and equipment
  • Allowing for better access to the giraffes by Wildlife Care staff and the veterinary team
  • Incorporating features to improve enrichment, educational, outreach and monitoring opportunities

Follow us on social media for updates on #BabyLongLegs!


Media Contact Information:

Katie Gray
Manager of Strategic Communications
(416) 938-5283

Amanda Chambers
Supervisor of Strategic Communications
(416) 938-5283

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