Zoo Guests Invited to Vote on Baby Hippo Names

CONTACT: Kyle Shepherd
Direct: 502-238-5331  |  Media Only: 502-744-5639

Zoo Guests Invited to Vote on Baby Hippo Names

Over 2500 names were submitted in the Zoo’s Baby hippo naming contest and the hippo keepers have decided upon three for the public to vote on: Ace, Jahari  and Kimani.

Participants were asked to submit a male name for the Zoo’s newest addition – a male pygmy hippo born in late August. Zoo visitors now have the final vote. Now through Sunday, October 26  guests are invited to vote for their favorite name by making a monetary contribution in the voting kiosk on the Zoo’s Front Plaza. The name with the highest total donations wins and will be announced the week of October 27. All proceeds support the Zoo’s efforts to provide excellent care for animals, a great experience for our guests and a better future for all living things.

The winner who submitted the winning name will receive a behind-the-scenes tour with the baby hippo.


The male baby hippo was born August 28 to Hope and Maji, the Zoo’s adult hippo pair.

As long as the weather remains consistently warm, the Zoo will have the hippo baby on exhibit near Gorilla Forest (weather and pool temperatures permitting). The hippo birth was planned and is a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). Breeding plans work to improve the genetic diversity of managed animal populations. Pygmy hippos can weigh between 400-600 lbs. Their range is Liberia, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Guinea in Africa. Due to habitat fragmentation and illegal poaching for bushmeat and traditional medicines the pygmy hippopotamus is considered vulnerable and in decline.

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The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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