Giraffe Calf Gets His Name

The reticulated giraffe calf born at Tucson’s Reid Park Zoo has been named “Moyo” in honor of two distinctive heart-shaped spots on his neck. Moyo is the Swahili word for heart.

The name was chosen by the community with 6,708 votes cast on the Zoo’s website from a selection of options given by the Zoo’s hoofstock team.

Moyo is the first giraffe born at Reid Park Zoo in almost 24 years. He is the first offspring born to mother Penelope and father Jasiri.

In his first month, Moyo has grown about a foot and is currently measuring a little over 7 feet tall. He is mostly nursing, but has been interested in browse and pellets.

“He often copies Penny and attempts to browse and eat whatever she is currently eating, often mouthing at her chin,” said Animal Care Supervisor Julia Beres.

Moyo and Penelope are, at times, visible to guests at the Zoo for short periods throughout the day. He often gets the “zoomies” when out and is very interested in the peacocks that frequently spend time in the giraffe habitat.

Reid Park Zoo supports the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Giraffe SAFE (Saving Animals from Extinction) Program, providing fieldwork in Uganda to stabilize wild populations of the endangered reticulated giraffes. By supporting Reid Park Zoo, guests are also helping support these programs.