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Zoo's Baby Chimp Finally has a Name!

LITTLE ROCK (December 15, 2009) – And the winner is: Kendi! More than 500 entries and 1000 votes, and it wasn’t even close. Kendi, an African word meaning“loved one,” beat out Sukuma, Kibale and Kidogo as the name for the Zoo’s new baby chimpanzee born August 29, 2009.

The name Kendi was submitted by Vicki Pennington of Junction City, AR.

When a baby is born at the Little Rock Zoo, animal keepers usually have the privilege of naming the new arrival. But for the baby chimpanzee, Zoo staff decided to turn it over to the public. From the 500 plus names submitted, the Great Ape Keepers at the Little Rock Zoo chose the top four. The names were then posted in an online survey and the public was encouraged to vote for their favorite. Kendi received 65% of the vote.

Mom, Mahale, and Dad, Bahati, are two of seven chimps at the Little Rock Zoo who welcomed the baby boy on his birthday.

Kendi’s birth was the result of a recommendation from the Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan (SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSP programs are designed to ensure the long-term survival of endangered species.

The Little Rock Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, visit