Barry Griswell’s Baby Giraffe


From the Blank Park Zoo Newsletter:

Meet the newest member of the Blank Park Zoo- a reticulated giraffe, born early Saturday morning at 3:22am.  Animal keepers at the zoo say the male baby giraffe calf began standing and walking within twenty minutes, is nursing, and appears to have bonded with its mother, Samburu.  Zoo workers have been keeping their distance- mother giraffes have highly protective instincts.  But after two days, it was time for a well-baby exam.  Zookeepers say the baby’s height is 6’2″ and weight is 172 lbs and report that mother and baby are doing just fine.

Zoo officials have chosen an African name for the new calf in honor of the tallest Chief Executive Officer of an Iowa Fortune 500 company, who also leads major Iowa philanthropic projects. To recognize Barry Griswell, retired CEO of Principal Financial Group and recently appointed head of the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation, the new male giraffe will be named  “Mkuu” (pronounced em-COO-you in Swahili meaning “chief”).  Ironically, Griswell is 7 and a half inches taller than his new namesake.
Although it will be several weeks until it is safe for Mkuu to be on exhibit for the public, he and mom’s progress can be viewed by clicking here.


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