You voted: Name for Maryland Zoo’s baby giraffe reflects grace

WASHINGTON — After a public online vote, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore has revealed the name for its nearly three-week-old giraffe calf: Say hello to Willow. 

Willow was chosen out of a list of six names, winning 32 percent of more than 26,000 votes. The reason behind the name, according to the zoo’s website: “Willow trees are slender and graceful like the calf will be — or already is!”

In second place was Dottie with 21 percent of the vote. In third place was Imara, a name with Swahili origins that means “strong” or “resolute.”

Giraffe fans can see the calf and her mother, Juma, starting Friday, but the zoo is warning visitors to expect long lines because viewings will be in small groups. The giraffe house was closed earlier while the first-time mother and her calf bonded.

Willow is a female reticulated giraffe calf and stands at 6 feet 1 inch. She was born Feb. 6 to Juma, 4, and Caesar, 11, and she is the first giraffe born at the zoo in over 20 years.

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