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Greenwich Center Names Baby Giraffe 'Sandy Hope'

A week after being born, the LEO Zoological Conservation Center's new giraffe has been named Sandy Hope.
A week after being born, the LEO Zoological Conservation Center's new giraffe has been named Sandy Hope. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the LEO Zoological Conservation Center

GREENWICH, Conn. -- A baby giraffe born at a Greenwich conservation center has been named "Sandy Hope" in honor of the victims of the shootings at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elemetnary

The name of the giraffe born more than a week ago was announced by the LEO Conservation Center's director, Marcella Leone, on NBC's "Today" on Monday morning.

Leone said the Center received more than 6,000 entries in the naming contest.

She also said on "Today" that the infant giraffe is already more than six feet tall and has been integrated into the herd.

Rothschild giraffes native to Africa and are an endangered species. According to the Center, there are fewer than 670 left in the wild.

The calf is the first ever to be born at the facility and is thought to be the first in Connecticut's history.

The sanctuary is largely closed to the public. Visits are limited to big donors, educational programs and charitable organizations. The cheapest excursions are safaris costing $500 a person, with a minimum of $2,500 for one safari. A family membership, which allows monthly visits, requires a donation of $10,000 or more.

The LEO Center was recently featured in the New York Times .

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