News & Media
Phoenix Zoo Baby Zebras Now Have Names!
More than three thousand votes were cast and the results are in!
PHOENIX (June 21, 2010) – The pair of female Grevy's zebras at the Phoenix Zoo now have names: Amira and Kirafiki. Over the last month, voting has taken place online at phoenixzoo.org in celebration of the arrival of the foals. The names Amira and Kirafiki are derived from the Swahili language, which is African in origin. Amira means "princess", and Kirafiki means "friendly".
Voting wrapped up on Friday, June 18th with more than 3, 000 people casting their vote from five sets of names provided by keepers at the Zoo. "The names Amira and Kirafiki won by a landslide, " says Phoenix Zoo President & CEO, Bert Castro. "It has been exciting to hear the voice of the community choose the names for the newest residents of the Zoo. What a great way to welcome them into the world."
The two female Grevy's zebras are on display to the public along the Africa Trail. Amira and Kirafiki were born in April and already have more than doubled their birth weight. The names suit each foal perfectly reflecting their distinct personalities. Amira, daughter to Afiya, is very shy and doesn't like to obey the keepers. Her mom is quick to put her in her place when the "princess" disobeys. Kirafiki, born to Masika, is extremely friendly, very easy going as well as out going. She is a great listener and is very independent. The foals love to run, play and chase each other and then enjoy taking a long nap. They have even started cuddling up to each other at night.
Grevy's zebras are endangered with less than 2, 500 left in the wild due to loss of habitat, competition with livestock and poaching. As the largest zebra species, Grevy's can be distinguished from other zebras by their longer legs, more narrow stripes, white, stripeless underbelly and large rounded ears. Grevy's zebras are only found in northern Kenya and south eastern Ethiopia.
The Phoenix Zoo is dedicated to saving Grevy's zebras through conservation in the wild and on Zoo grounds. The two female foals are the result of a breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, which ensures the genetic diversity of select species. The Phoenix Zoo is also a proud partner of the Grevy's Zebra Trust, an organization dedicated to the conservation of Grevy's zebras.
About the Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo is a non-profit zoological park that serves 1.5 million guests annually. Home to more than 1, 300 animals and many endangered and threatened species, the Zoo is dedicated to providing experiences that inspire people and motivate them to care for the natural world.