It will be hard to miss the 2-story tall reticulated giraffe now hanging out in the rental car area of Nashville International Airport.
And that’s exactly the point.
Nashville Zoo installed the giraffe, created by Dorand Design Studios, overnight on January 9 in hopes to draw more attention to the Zoo. The giraffe is accompanied by a few pieces of luggage and signs directing toward Nashville Zoo (7 miles away) and Kenya (8,104 miles away).
“We want to make sure travelers, both local to Nashville and just visiting, know there is a world-class Zoo close by,” said Rick Schwartz, Nashville Zoo President and CEO. “We’re excited to have this piece in the airport and hope it encourages people to stop by and say hello to our real-life Masai giraffes at the Zoo.”
The Zoo held a naming contest that raised funds for the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF). Over the last three decades, the wild giraffe population has declined about 30% because of poaching and habitat destruction. GCF supports initiatives ranging from census monitoring to hands-on conservation actions to protect and increase these populations.
The name with the most money raised for conservation was Muziki with a total of $404 raised for GCF. Everyone was encouraged to vote with $1 as many times as they wanted for their favorite name on the list. Each name option is accompanied by the meaning and reasoning of each word.
Harmony – a pleasing arrangement of notes, but also means congruence, agreement, accord and tranquility
Muziki – the Swahili word for “music.” Nashville is Music City
Balozi – the Swahili word for “ambassador.” She welcomes you to Nashville.
The winning name was announced Thursday, Feb. 27.