A rare baby giraffe has no spots, but now she has a name!
Officials at the Brights Zoo, a family-owned establishment in Limestone, Tennessee, revealed the adorable, 5-week-old giraffe's name live on TODAY on Sept. 5 after weeks of online voting by the public to select a name.
After nearly 40,000 votes, the name chosen was Kipekee, which is the Swahili word for unique.
"For a lot of guests we talked to, that was the easiest name for a child to say," David Bright, the director of Brights Zoo, said on TODAY.
The zoo asked fans to vote between four names: Kipekee; Firyali, which means unusual or extraordinary; Shakiri which means “she is most beautiful” and Jamella, “one of great beauty.”
Kipekee received just over 16,000 votes to edge out the name Shakiri, which received more than 10,000.
The baby giraffe is believed to be the only known solid-colored reticulated giraffe in the world, according to Brights Zoo. Reticulated giraffes are a subspecies of giraffes.
In fact, Kipekee is the first giraffe of her kind without spots since one that was born in Tokyo in 1972, according to David Bright.
"So there are no other living giraffes of this color," he said.
The zoo in Limestone said the baby, which was born July 31, is already 6 feet tall.
"She's still very laid back, curious about everything, and checking everything out every day," Bright said.
The spotted coat pattern of a giraffe provides more than just camouflage in the wild. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation says that each spot, or patch, has a system of blood vessels beneath the area that acts as a thermal window and allows the release of body heat.