A baby giraffe born at a Connecticut zoo has been named to commemorate last year’s tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
After a few wobbly moments on bended knees ‘Sandy Hope’ took her first tentative steps at the Leo Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich, Conn. The new-born Rothschild giraffe is one of only 670 or so of the species left in the world.
“[Sandy Hope has] a real significance, especially for us here in Connecticut,’’ Marcella Leone, the center’s founder and director, told the Today show. “We named her for the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy that happened right here in our state, so it’s a really, really meaningful name and that’s why we had to attach the middle name ‘Hope’ with it.’’
An online competition to name the endangered creature received almost 7,000 entries after her proud mom, Petal, gave birth on March 22. Voters overwhelmingly wanted to choose something to honor victims of last December’s horrific massacre in Newtown, Conn., which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adult staff members.
Sandy Hope is already more than six feet tall despite being less than two weeks old, and will grow to around 18 feet as an adult. She has now taken her place as part of a herd of five giraffes at the zoo that are usually only found in Sudan, Uganda and Kenya.
Rothschild giraffes are named after the zoologist Lord Walter Rothschild, who studied the animals in the 19th century. And while they are rare, it so happens that another Rothschild giraffe, named Millie, was also born last week in the U.K., reports the BBC.