Dallas Zoo's Baby Giraffe Named Jamie

Cancer-stricken child's name will live on

By Elvira Sakmari
|  Thursday, Sep 1, 2011  |  Updated 6:47 PM CDT
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A Dallas family wants the Dallas Zoo's new baby giraffe to be named after theirs son

Lindsay Wilcox, NBC 5

A Dallas family wants the Dallas Zoo's new baby giraffe to be named after theirs son "Jamie" who passed away from cancer.

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A Dallas couple's wish to have a baby giraffe at the Dallas Zoo named in honor of their son has come true.

The female baby giraffe will be named Jamie in honor of James Camden Sikes, the zoo announced Thursday morning.

Kara and Matthew Sikes' son from a rare and aggressive brain tumor on July 16, he was just 7 months old. Giraffes were James' favorite animal, from the song his mother sang to him, to the stuffed animals he received and a trip to the zoo to feed the giraffes.

A few days after he died, the female giraffe was born at the Dallas Zoo and the Sikes thought the naming contest would be a perfect way to honor their son.

"It would be a legacy for him. Something we would always have," said Matthew Sikes. "Ten, 15, 20 years from now, we'd be able to go to the zoo and see Jamie the giraffe."

North Texans rallied for the family, 71 percent (4,021) of the names submitted were in James' honor.

The winner of the contest received a trip for four to the San Diego Wild Animal Park in California, but the winner decided to donate the trip to the Make A Wish Foundation.

The giraffe calf was born July 23 and was 5 ft., 10 in. and 105 lbs. but now the giraffe named Jamie stands 6 ft. tall and weighs 176 lbs. She can be seen most days out at the Giants of Savanna exhibit with her mother, Katie.

NBC 5's Lindsay Wilcox contributed to this report

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