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Phoenix Zoo Launches Naming Contest For New Baby Giraffe

You might have heard that there’s a new addition to the Phoenix Zoo. A leggy, baby Masai giraffe was born on June 26.

The zoo’s Linda Hardwick says the female giraffe was born healthy to 7-year-old Imara.  

"Giraffes are typically about 250 pounds when they're born and about six feet tall," said Hardwick. "She definitely is as adorable as she is big."

The zoo has launched a naming contest to help them pick out a name for their new addition. Hardwick says they wanted to get the Valley involved in choosing the baby giraffe’s name.

"We had our keepers select names," she said. "Swahili is the theme, and we've put them up on our web site and people can then vote for their favorite out of those."

The baby is a welcome addition beyond adding to the Phoenix Zoo’s giraffe population. The Masai subspecies is considered vulnerable and the zoo is working with the Masai Giraffe Species Survival Plan to help preserve the species.

"Over the past 30 years, there's been nearly a 40 percent decrease in their population in the wild due to habitat destruction, but mostly poaching for their meat, Hardwick said. "So we're incredibly honor[ed] that we are able to add to this vulnerable species."

You can vote on a name for the baby giraffe until July 29. The winning name will be announced July 30.

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Kaely Monahan joined KJZZ Original Productions as a producer in December 2016.Monahan is a native, and growing up in the East Valley gave her an intimate familiarity with the Valley of the Sun. Eager to experience a new city, she left Phoenix for Tucson to earn her degree in classical studies from the University of Arizona with an emphasis in mythology. Several years later, her focus transitioned from history to history-in-the-making and news. Monahan went on to earn her master’s degree in international journalism from City University of London.In London, Monahan worked with CBS News and The Times covering international news. On her return to Arizona, Monahan was the art and entertainment editor for the East Valley Tribune, before moving into broadcasting, where she worked in commercial radio as an anchor and reporter.Outside of work, Monahan spends her time reading historical novels, exploring new restaurants in the Valley, and watching movies. Her love of film led her to create a movie review podcast and website. Monahan is also the vice president of the Phoenix Critics Circle.