Little winner: Shakirah Singh, right, winner of the Emperor Valley Zoo’s “Name the Giraffe” contest, receives her prize from education officer Solange De Silva at the zoo in Port of Spain on Thursday. Shakirah bestowed the name “Melman” on the smaller of the two giraffes recently acquired by the zoo. —Photo courtesy the Emperor Valley Zoo


Visitors name giraffes Melman and Mandela

...warthogs: Pumbaa, Zuri

By Carla Bridglal

 It’s official! The names of the two newest—and tallest—members of the Emperor Valley Zoo are Melman and Mandela the giraffes.

The names were chosen by patrons who visited the zoo over the two weeks since the calves arrived on December 4, the Port of Spain zoo announced yesterday. 

Visitors were asked to fill out a form suggesting names for the giraffes—with Melman, named after the animated giraffe in the Madagascar film series, and Mandela, as a tribute to late South African president and anti-aparthied fighter Nelson Mandela, topping the list.

Names for the two warthogs who arrived with Melman and Mandela were also chosen, so visitors can look out for Pumbaa the male warthog and Zuri the female warthog when next they visit the zoo. 

Lots of people entered the same names, and four winners were chosen by random draw for each animal. 

Kriston Chen won for selecting Mandela; Shakirah Singh won for Melman; Araby Ali won for Pumbaa; and Rachael Ramnath won for Zuri.

In a release yesterday, the zoo thanked its patrons for their “overwhelming support”.

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