Como Zoo did it Pete's way.

As a tribute to recently retired and ever-affable zookeeper Pete Lee, Como Zoo’s baby female giraffe now has a name: Frances - in honor of Frank Sinatra, one of Lee's favorites..

“Over the years, while working behind the scenes, the animals and I would often listen to Frank Sinatra,” said Lee. “I’ve always suggested that a nice name for one of our beautiful creatures would be Francis, or Frances with an ‘e’ for a female.”

Lee worked 27 years at Como Zoo. At his retirement party, as a nod to his longtime penchant for naming an animal Francis, all the guests wore either a Frances or a Francis name-tag. Now, the zoo has carried on Lee's tradition with the baby of giraffes Skeeter and Clover.

It seems appropriate. During Lee's last nine years at the zoo, he worked with the bison, kudu, zebras, and giraffes. When asked what he thought of the naming honor, Lee said: “I’m over the moon”.

Frances was born August 24th, and made her public debut August 27th. She is the 6th calf born to Clover and the 19th giraffe birth at Como Zoo in the last 22 years. Frances weighed 135 pounds at birth and now stands over 6” tall. Como’s current herd of giraffes consists of Clover, Daisy, Skeeter and Frances.