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Baby giraffe gets a name!

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

You can still call him “cutie,” but our nearly 8-foot-tall, 7-week-old baby giraffe now has an official name: Misawa (me-SAW-wah).

Misawa at one month old. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

The name was selected by the current class of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine students. The zoo works with the WSU program to mentor the next generation of wildlife veterinarians. What better way to honor that connection than by letting them name one of the most beloved ambassadors of the next generation of zoo animals?

Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.
The students chose the name Misawa, a common greeting in an indigenous Luo language from Tanzania and southwest Kenya, to honor the giraffe’s native range. It’s an especially fitting connection, given the school’s dedication to human and wildlife health through their Global Animal Health programs in east Africa, a region native to giraffes like Misawa.

Woodland Park Zoo and WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine have a longstanding partnership in developing critical research and furthering education in wildlife conservation. The origin of Misawa’s name as a greeting appropriately hints at the coming together of two great friends.

Look for Misawa, his mom Olivia and Aunt Tufani in the outdoor area of the Giraffe Barn mid-mornings through afternoons. When he’s indoors, you can look for him on our live Giraffe Baby Cam streaming 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.