December 10 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Hello Zuri, nice to meet you! A cute baby giraffe has been entrancing visitors to Africa Alive wildlife park at Kessingland, near Lowestoft, since she was born in August.
However one thing has been lacking for the fast growing youngster - a name.
But on Saturday the 7ft baby giraffe finally gained her monicker thanks to a 13-year-old girl from Taverham, Norwich.
The giraffe has gained the name Zuri, which is Swahili for lovely, after Rebecca Weatherly entered and won an EDP competition to name the tallest baby in the region.
On Saturday Rebecca and her sister Sophie, 10, and parents Jez and Andrea got up close to Zuri and the other five towering giraffes at their enclosure at Africa Alive as part of her prize.
Rebecca decided to enter the competition after she read how the baby giraffe had been shunned by her mother leaving keepers to feed her Jersey cow milk.
The Taverham High School student from Broom Close said: “I thought it would be nice to give her a name. We thought lovely would be a nice adjective for her and then looked up African words for it on the internet and found Zuri, which is a really nice word.
“I was quite surprised to hear I had won the competition, I have never really won anything before.
“It was nice to meet Zuri.”
As part of her prize Rebecca has adopted Zuri for a year and her name will be on an information board at the enclosure. The family have also won a another trip to the park.
Mrs Weatherly, 46, “We have a hamster and a goldfish at home and now we can claim a giraffe as well.”
Her husband, 52 and who is involved in IT, joked the family could take Zuri home but would not be able to fit her in their car as they did not have a sunroof.
Sarah Kelly, lead qualified keeper at Africa Alive, was pleased with the new name for the baby giraffe, who is growing at a rate of one inch a day.
She said: “It is nice short name so it makes it easy for us to call her over and it keeps a link with Africa.
“Zuri is a naughty and cheeky baby and is lovely. She keeps coming up and licking your face and is always interested in what you are doing.”
Zuri’s mother is Mahari, who rejected her after a 15 month pregnancy and her father is Kimoni.
The other giraffes at Africa Alive are Kiara, Snippet and Puzzle.
When fully grown Zuri should reach 16ft in height and will be sexually mature in three or four years.