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Guests and Facebook fans help name and welcome zoo babies.

Giraffe Calf Named "Abiquiu" and Baby Orangutan is a Boy

"Abiquiu” the female giraffe calf. Photo by Natalie Sommer/ABQ BioPark.

May 11, 2013
Updated August 2, 2013

The female giraffe calf born on April 20, 2013 at the ABQ BioPark Zoo is named “Abiquiu” (“Abi” for short). Facebook fans cast more than 1,000 votes with 609 in favor of “Abiquiu.” The second favorite name was “Gisele,” which received 201 votes.

“We’re excited ‘Abiquiu’ is the winning name,” said Bricker Thietten, giraffe zookeeper. “It was definitely our favorite, because even if she moves to a different zoo in the future, she will always have a New Mexico name."

Abiquiu, the reticulated giraffe calf, weighed 120 pounds at birth. Now three weeks old, she weighs 175 pounds and is already 6 feet, 5 inches tall. Although she was unable to bond with mother June, keepers have been bottle feeding her, and she is now being introduced to the rest of the herd. Introductions are going smoothly, and guests can watch Abiquiu with mother June, sister Amani and an unrelated female named Camilla.

Sarah’s orangutan baby peeks out at the world. Photo by Amy Landers/ABQ BioPark.

In other exciting zoo baby news, the baby orangutan is a girl! (Update: It's a boy! Please see details below.) At this morning’s Orangutan Baby Shower, the Sumatran orangutans opened special pink enrichment revealing the baby’s gender, and guests enjoyed cake with pink strawberry cream filling. Zoo guests also started voting for her name at the shower. Voting continues on the BioPark’s Facebook page through 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. Fans can choose their favorite from the final four selected by zookeepers: Betty, Indie, Pixi or Sian.

AUG. 2 UPDATE: Whoops, she is a HE! The baby orangutan had its first physical this week. Upon closer inspection, vets discovered that the baby is actually male. Keepers decided the little guy's new name would be 'Pixel.' While we’re all a little embarrassed, the animal care team was glad to see first-hand just how healthy the orangutan is. Mother Sarah is doing a great job, although she has been holding him a little too close for us to get a good look before now.

Giraffes and Sumatran orangutans face threats in the wild including habitat loss and illegal poaching. Captive breeding helps ensure genetic diversity and sustainable populations. Supporters of the ABQ BioPark have already donated more than $6,000 to support the baby orangutan. Zoo babies and other residents help spread important conservation messages by bringing education to life in rich, interactive settings. For more information, email [email protected] or dial 311 locally (505-768-2000).

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