The rare baby Rothschild giraffe born at a Connecticut zoo last month has been given the name Sandy Hope in honor of the Newtown shooting victims.
The cute creature – check out the baby giraffe trying to stand for the first time (below) – arrived at the Leo Zoological Conservation Center in mid-March.
After a public appeal that elicited nearly 7,000 entries, the center chose the name Sandy Hope, a reference to Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.
“It’s a really meaningful name and that’s why we had to attach the middle name ‘Hope’ with it,” Marcella Leone, the center’s founder and director, said.
The center will allow those affected by the tragedy to meet Sandy Hope in person.
“We’re devoting this year to the children and families who were impacted,” she said.
“So we’ll be inviting everyone to the center, and they’ll be able to enjoy meeting Sandy and a lot of the other wonderful animals that we have here.”
Only a few weeks old, little Sandy Hope already stands over most people at 6 feel, and will eventually grow to be about 18 feet tall as an adult.
The Rothschild giraffe is a rare endangered species, with only about 670 worldwide.
Here’s the youngest one attempting to get up, just after being born!