Vote to name Zoo Knoxville baby giraffe to raise funds for herd


Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) – The finalists are in, and now is the time to vote for what Zoo Knoxville’s new giraffe calf will be named.

The zoo says thousands of names were submitted and five were chosen as finalists.

They are:

  • Jumbe Junior (J.J.) — because this little giraffe adores his father Jumbe
  • Zawadi — which means “gift” in the Swahili language
  • Major — a tribute to the legendary Johnny Majors, football player at the University of Tennessee from 1953 to 1956 and head football coach at UT from 1977 to 1992
  • Sky —because that’s where giraffes dwell!
  • Jacob — the mascot and namesake of Knox Mayor Glenn Jacobs’ Read City USA #MillionHourExpedition, who is helping encourage the community to log a million hours of reading in 2021.

Voting will cost a dollar per vote. The funds raised will support the care of the zoo’s giraffe herd and the zoo’s mission to save giraffe from extinction as part of the Giraffe Species Survival Plan by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Voting is open now through Sunday, March 14 online at The winning name will be announced on Tuesday, March 16.

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