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    A handful of change could determine the name of the Louisville Zoo’s newest baby giraffe. Over 1500 names were submitted to the Zoo’s naming contest, and the zookeepers have narrowed the list to three. Now through October 14, zoo visitors may vote for their favorite name by placing a donation of coins or bills into a slot representing their choice.

    Each of the three names has special significance for Louisville or the Zoo:

    Silvester – In honor of the Zoo’s longtime giraffe keeper Silvia Zirkelbach who also happens to share a birthday with the calf.

    Cassius – As in, Cassius Clay, Louisville’s Muhammad Ali.

    Rudy – For Sean Astin’s character in the movie Rudy.  Astin visited the zoo and met the giraffe when it was only a few days old.

    The male Masai giraffe was born at the Zoo on June 27, 2012 to mother Malaika and father Walker. At birth he was 6’6” tall and 194 lbs. I think all the moms out there will join me in a collective “yikes”! Visitors can see the not-so-little baby daily in the Zoo’s giraffe habitat, weather permitting.

    The donations will support the Zoo’s efforts to provide excellent care for animals, a great experience for guests and a better future for all living things. The individual who submitted the winning name will receive a prize package including a behind the scenes tour and a rare bonding session with the giraffe. The other two finalists will receive Zoo gifts, a tote bag from Floyd Memorial Birthing Center (who is sponsoring the contest) and four Zoo Adventure Tickets.

    Photo: Courtesy of Louisville Zoo

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