The Gladys Porter Zoo announced the results of their name search for the newest baby giraffe. After a two-week voting period and 1,125 votes from Valley residents as well as Gladys Porter Zoo fans around the nation, the baby boy giraffe has been officially named J.C. The name is in memory of Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Gladys Porter Zoo Associate Curator. It won with over 54 percent of the vote. Other names which were finalists included Jabari, Hasani, Zane, Khari, Al G. and Casey.
It was a landslide victory for the official name, with the other name options garnering 13% or less of the votes. “I remember Juan Carlos started working at the Zoo for a summer program when he was a teenager. Then, he left for a while only to return in 2001 when I hired him to work with our primate collection. He eventually worked his way up to become Associate Curator and was completing a degree in Business. He was one of our homegrown heroes. Juan Carlos was a dedicated employee that you could always depend on. He will be missed.” said Jerry Stones, Facilities Director. Zoo staff members, docents and volunteers provided the initial suggestions for the names, which were narrowed down to seven finalists.
The Gladys Porter Zoo welcomed the male baby giraffe to the animal collection on April 28th. After months behind-the-scenes being cared for by zoo keepers, our latest giraffe calf joined his tower to be integrated. The baby giraffe began its public appearances recently and is now available for viewing every day of the week. Baby J.C. is currently integrating into the group of seven giraffe that are in the public exhibit and is adjusting well.
Photo Credit: Jim Campbell