Orana Wildlife Park’s new giraffe calf, pictured with acting exotic species assistant manager Stewart Taylor, has just been given the name Kevin.
Christchurch’s Orana Wildlife Park has confirmed the name of the baby giraffe staff had fondly nicknamed Grinch.
The 1-month-old calf has been named Kevin after a “landslide result” in an online public vote on the park’s Facebook page.
Kevin took out the top spot over other suggested names including Imani, Rangi, Rwenzori, Selassie and Obi.
In a post, the park said Kevin was “a little shy”. He was already more than 1.8m tall and still growing.
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He needed plenty of rest, which he got in his house when he wasn’t spotted doing “zoomies” around his yard.
Kevin had now been home for over a week after a rough welcome to the world that sent him to the Rangiora Vet Centre.
The 55-kilogram born infant spent the Christmas period under 24-hour care after he wasn’t able to be fed by first-time mum Kamili. The stay led to him being nicknamed Grinch.
He is considered something of a legacy for the team at the wildlife park, born only a week after his half-brother Jasiri was euthanised due to an untreatable bone condition.
Kevin is also the last calf for his father, Mabouti, who died in 2021 after three years at the park. A giraffe’s gestation period is 15 months.
A cluster of pukeko in his enclosure startled Kevin in his first run around in his yard, but a bottle of milk and encouragement from staff got him out of his comfort zone and exploring.
It’s unclear how long he will continue to live at Orana Wildlife Park because exotic and threatened species are given places based off genetic diversity. Kevin is a potential match to two of the other three adult females at Orana, but would not reach breeding maturity for up to three years.
A three week old giraffe has been out for the first time at Orana Wildlife Park