BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The newest giraffe at the Baton Rouge Zoo has officially been named after LSU quarterback and Heisman winner Joe Burrow.
The male reticulated giraffe was born at the Baton Rouge Zoo on December 26, 2019. According to the zoo, he is the 20th giraffe born at the zoo and is the first successfully born there since 2001.
His species is considered “Endangered” in the wild, primarily due to human poaching and encroachment on natural habitats.
The zoo held a naming contest for the big “little guy,” putting out the call for ideas and then letting the public donate $1 per vote for their favorite among three finalists. Those finalists were “Kiume,” Swahili for masculine and strong; “Romeo,” in honor of mom, Rosie and dad, Rowan; and “Burreaux,” the meaning of which the zoo described as needing no explanation.
The homage to the Heisman winner raised the most money.
“You voted. We tallied. Meet Burreaux!!! Thanks to everyone who nominated and supported the cause. This little guy has big shoes to fill, but something tells us he’s up for the challenge!” the zoo said in a Facebook post announcing the name on Friday.
The zoo says donations made to Friends of the Baton Rouge Zoo during voting will go to conservation efforts in the wild.
A giraffe’s gestation period is typically between 14 to 17 months in duration, and the zoo says it is typical for a newborn giraffe to weigh 100lbs – 150lbs and stand between 5ft and 6ft tall at birth. The zoo notes that the mortality rate for giraffes ages 6 months and under is nearly 50%.
“However, our keeper, curator & veterinary staff are incredibly skilled and are monitoring the mother and calf closely,” the zoo said in a Facebook post shortly after his birth. “The progress over the coming few days & weeks will be crucial.”