Animal park names baby giraffe after Brandon Belt - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Animal park names baby giraffe after Brandon Belt

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Photo courtesy of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Photo courtesy of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.
Photo courtesy of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Photo courtesy of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.
VALLEJO, CA (KTRE) -

Brandon Belt has a few highlights in his first seasons as a professional baseball player. Meeting Willie Mays. Hitting two home runs in a big-league game. But how many people can say they've had an animal named after them?

Now, Belt can. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom announced Tuesday that a male giraffe born on Friday has been named after the San Francisco Giant, who himself is nicknamed "Baby Giraffe."

With the recent surge in popularity of Belt's unofficial nickname, dubbed by Giants announcer Duane Kuiper because of what he perceived as a similarity anatomically and in movement, Discovery Kingdom officials thought by naming the giraffe calf Brandon, the public would feel a unique kinship between the two unrelated species.

"As we like to say, it came out of left field," said Nancy Chan, communications manager at Discovery Kingdom. "The Giants called us about setting something up with Brandon Belt and our giraffes and we just so happened to have one born, so we decided to name it after him."

Discovery Kingdom is working on setting up a meeting between Brandon the giraffe and his namesake.

"Right now, we're just trying to get him used to everything, going in a little at a time, and when Brandon comes later this week, he'll be able to go right in," Chan said.

For now, the human Brandon is taller than the giraffe. Belt is listed at 6'5" and the giraffe is 6'2". But the giraffe is expected to grow up to 18 feet.

Brandon the giraffe is the offspring of seven-year-old mother Makali.

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