In honor of Bryant, Zoo Atlanta to name black mamba ‘Kobe’

There will be two black mambas named Kobe in Atlanta come Friday.

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, nicknamed the Black Mamba, will play his final game in Atlanta. To pay tribute, the Hawks organization and Zoo Atlanta announced Thursday that the zoo will name its black mamba ‘Kobe.’ The Hawks will also make a donation to the zoo to further honor Bryant.

“Kobe Bryant’s career accomplishments speak for themselves,” said Hawks CEO Steve Koonin in a statement. “He has set a standard with his incredible work ethic, tremendous will and competitive spirit. We’re happy to be partnering with Zoo Atlanta to recognize the impact Kobe has made on the NBA and its popularity worldwide.”

The Hawks will also play an in-game video tribute to Bryant during Friday’s game. Bryant recently announced that this will be his final NBA season after 20 years.

Zoo Atlanta recently completed a complex entitled Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience. It will house the black mamba and more than 70 other reptile and amphibian species.

“Zoo Atlanta is thrilled to be part of this very special tribute, President and CEO of Zoo Atlanta Raymond B. King said in a statement. “Mr. Bryant is a legend on the court, and the black mamba is a legend in the wild. We’re proud to partner with our home team, the Atlanta Hawks, on recognizing Mr. Bryant’s contributions to sports with the naming of this animal, and we hope everyone will visit Scaly Slimy Spectacular, our newest destination at Zoo Atlanta, to see the new namesake in person.”