On June 20th, Woodland Park Zoo’s female giraffe, Tufani, gave birth to a little 5 foot 9 inch girl. To celebrate, the zoo is excited to announce that Seattle’s tallest baby has a name: Lulu (rhymes with Boo-Boo), which means “pearl” in the African language, Swahili (SWAH-he-lee).
The opportunity to name the baby giraffe was awarded to Al Buckingham who made a generous donation at the zoo’s Jungle Party fundraiser. The event raised over $1.5 million to support the zoo’s exemplary animal care program, field conservation projects in the Pacific Northwest and around the world and hands-on environmental learning for all ages.
Buckingham shared his top four names with the baby giraffe’s caretakers who then helped select the name. “I’m so happy we all decided on Lulu,” said Buckingham. “Of the four names, it was our favorite choice. It’s cute, simple to remember and has a great meaning, pearl.” Pearl is the June birthstone and a fitting symbol of how precious the now 1 month old is to her herd, caretakers and guests.
Lulu is the offspring of 9-year-old mom Tufani and 4-year-old dad Dave; she is the first baby for both parents. Her birth marked the second viable birth of a giraffe at the zoo since 2013 and the third in 20 years.
According to Lead Zookeeper Katie Ahl, Lulu is doing great. “She is now 7 feet tall and weighs 209 pounds. That’s a weight gain of 60 pounds and height gain of over one foot in just one month, and that’s right on target! She is a fun addition to our herd and is doing well with all of our giraffe.”
Zoo summer hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. For information or to become a zoo member, visit www.zoo.org or call 206.548.2500.