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A New Baby Giraffe Was Born at the Saigon Zoo. You Can Help Name Her.

Will this attempt at another public naming contest go wrong or remain wholesome this time?

On July 15, the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens welcomed an addition to its 1,000-member fauna family: a new baby giraffe. The young calf, a girl, was delivered healthy and safe after 15 months of gestation. Freshly out of her mother’s womb, the calf already weighed about 50 kilograms and stood at an impressive height of 1.6 meters.

The birth of this little giraffe came under special circumstances, as almost all of Ho Chi Minh City has been shut down to combat the spread of COVID-19. The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens has also stopped accepting guests since the beginning of June to comply with social distancing rules. The arrival of a new life during this pessimistic time thus entails great significance and offers a beacon of hope for the zoo and the community at large.

Meet Baby Giraffe, the latest member of the Saigon Zoo crew. Photo via Người Lao Động.

To celebrate the occasion, the zoo has invited young members of the public to name the giant youngling. “Our baby giraffe was born when the city was undergoing special circumstances, so we hope that she will have an equally unique and meaningful name,” said Trương Ngọc Đăng, head of the technical department of the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

The announcement of the naming event has attracted the attention of Vietnamese netizens, who, with all their wit and genius, contributed a torrent of everything from touching wishes to randomized syllables. Among the 400 submissions under the announcement, many are unsurprisingly related to COVID-19 due to the particular timing of the giraffe’s birth.

Enfagrow, Hurona (Hươu Rona) or Cảo Cô Vy are some of the more humorous takes on the task.

Meanwhile, some went the extra mile to suggest profound names with a detailed semantic explanation.

A representative of the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens also said that the pandemic has brought an onslaught of challenges to animal preservation efforts at the center. In accordance with the government's latest directive, which requires operating businesses and organizations to provide on-site accommodation for staff, staff veterinarians and technicians are restricted in number and not allowed to leave as long as lockdown measures are in place. However, the team of zookeepers are determined to withstand these difficulties and "take good care of the species that are being looked after and kept safe here," said one board member.

Hopefully, with the zoo team’s wholehearted resoluteness and the community’s cheering and support, both the young giraffe and Saigon will grow healthy and hold their head high in the days after the pandemic.

[Top photo: An adult giraffe at the Saigon Zoo]