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One day old Willow with Juno, July 2008

Willow (born July 28, 2008) is a female reticulated giraffe born to Morefu and Juno at the Birmingham Zoo.

The Zoo held a naming contest for the calf which generated over 400 suggestions. Brayden Jones, an 8 year old from Adger had the winning entry. "Willow" means "graceful and slender". Along with her parents, Willow joins her brother Rowan and another male named Jalil, both of which are approximately two years older than Willow.

Willow and Jalil celebrated the birth of a son, Griffin, on January 1, 2014.

During the 2022 World Games, Willow received a special visit from 17-year-old Estonian lightweight sumo wrestler Eva-Maria Raudsepp, who expressed a wish to see a giraffe. Her team's attaché, Carla Blakey, contacted the Mayor's office, which arranged with zoo director Chris Pfefferkorn to have an hour-long private visit during which Raudsepp and Mayor Randall Woodfin fed lettuce to Willow.


  • Thornton, William (August 15, 2008) "New giraffe at Birmingham Zoo is named Willow." The Birmingham News
  • Garrison, Greg (July 12, 2022) "World Games sumo wrestler meets Birmingham giraffe: ‘My favorite animal’." The Birmingham News