On Nov. 23, a baby giraffe was born at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden — the calf of 8-year-old Cece and 12-year-old Kimba, the zoo's male giraffe who passed away after complications from foot surgery on Nov. 17. The new calf, the 17th born at the zoo since 1889, is Cece's second and Kimba's seventh.
And the Cincinnati Zoo has just revealed his name: Theo.
“We picked the name Theo because it means divine gift. He was the gift that our team needed following the death of the calf’s dad a week before he arrived” said Christina Gorsuch, Cincinnati Zoo’s curator of mammals.
Theo has joined the giraffe herd which includes mom Cece; 6-month-old Fenn; Fenn's mom, Tessa; and the 3-year-old Zoey. He is reportedly healthy and very brave, "already wandering away from mom to thoroughly explore his surroundings and keepers." During the winter, guests can view him and his herd in the giraffe barn.
“We’re all sad that Kimba isn’t here to meet his seventh calf but thankful that he made such an important contribution to the survival of his species,” said Gorsuch in a previous release. “This baby, and five-month-old Fenn, will ensure Kimba’s lasting legacy.”
Giraffes were listed as "vulnerable" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List in 2018, suffering from the consequences of habitat loss, illegal poaching, war and trophy hunting. The Cincinnati Zoo offers behind-the-scene tours to benefit the Wild Nature Institute and wild Maasai giraffe conservation.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.