December 19, 2014
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“Zuri,” the name of the Lowry Park Zoo’s pygmy hippo calf, right, begins with the letter “Z” in honor of her mother, Zsa Zsa, left.​

Tampa Winn-Dixie store No. 639 helped the Lowry Park Zoo welcome a new addition to its exhibit.

The Zoo hosted a baby shower to unveil the name of the 14.5-pound, female pygmy hippo calf. Winn-Dixie provided cupcakes for the event, which were given to the first 500 children who attended the shower.

“More than 3,200 people came out to see the calf on the day of the shower,” said Tony LaForgia, Lowry Park Zoo director of business relations. “The event was a great success and Winn-Dixie’s pink frosted cupcakes were a wonderful contribution to the day’s festivities.”

The Zoo’s animal care team selected several names of African origin (Swahili) to be voted on by the community. The team chose names starting with the letter Z in honor of the mother hippo, Zsa Zsa. The name that received the most votes was “Zuri” (pronounced Zoo-ree), which means “beautiful.”

Baby Zuri is Lowry Park Zoo’s third pygmy hippo and only the 30th in the population managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. Pygmy hippos are extremely rare in the wild, with numbers estimated at less than 3,000.

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The addition of baby Zuri marks the third pygmy hippo at Lowry Park Zoo.

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Winn-Dixie store no. 639 donated 500 pink frosted cupcakes to the hippo baby shower at Lowry Park Zoo.

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