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Louisville Zoo's Baby Pygmy Hippo Gets a Name

The newest addition to the Louisville zoo, a baby pygmy hippo, now has a name: Jahari. Zookeepers narrowed down more than 2,500 names submitted to their website. Three finalists were named—Ace, Jahari and Kimani—and the matter put to a public vote.

This week, the zoo announced that Jahari was victorious.


Cheryl Cline of Jeffersonville Ind., made the winning suggestion. She’ll receive a behind-the-scenes tour with Jahari.


"I knew that the pygmy hippos come from West africa so I was doing a search on West African boy names and their meanings and Jahari just jumped out," Cline said. "I just thought it was such a cool name.”


Jahari was born Aug. 28 to the zoo’s adult hippos, Hope and Maji.  The zoo said pygmy hippos come from the region of Liberia, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Guinea in Africa. The animals can weigh 400 to 600 pounds. 

Jahari weighed nine pounds when he was born and now weighs about 50 pounds, said Kyle Shepherd of the Louisville Zoo. Cline, who gets to take up to five guests with her, plans on taking her fiancé, their two daughters and grandson on the tour.


“We’re all just really thrilled," she said. "Louisville has a wonderful zoo."


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