Rare Baby Giraffe Born Without Spots, Zoo Says

[Screenshot/YouTube/Fox 8 WGHP]

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A new baby giraffe that made her debut at a Tennessee zoo in July is making waves in the animal world due to her lack of spots.

The six-foot infant is believed to be the “only solid-colored reticulated giraffe living anywhere on the planet,” officials at the privately owned Bright’s Zoo told CNN. David Bright, the zoo’s director, further explained to CBS News that the last known spotless giraffe was born in Tokyo in 1972.

Reticulated giraffes are one of just four species of giraffe, all of which are declining in population. Reticulated giraffes are typically identified by the unique patterns of large polygon-shaped brown spots on a creamy white background on their bodies. The spots on their coats act as camouflage on their native African savannas, according to the Denver Zoo. (RELATED: Louisiana Woman Finds Rare Pink Grasshopper In Her Yard)

While the birth of any giraffe is exciting, the founder of Bright’s Zoo is particularly proud of the new arrival as she has brought much needed attention to giraffe conservation at an international level. “Wild populations are silently slipping into extinction, with 40% of the wild giraffe population lost in just the last 3 decades,” co-owner Tony Bright told CBS News.

While the zoo has not yet named the new baby, they have narrowed their choices down to four: Kipekee, meaning “unique”; Firyali, meaning “unusual” or “extraordinary”; Shakiri, which means “she is most beautiful”; and Jamella, which means “one of great beauty.” Voting for which name best fits the new arrival is currently open to the public, with the zoo planning to announce the winning moniker on Labor Day, a Facebook post from Bright’s Zoo stated.