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Hey, Tucson! Help pick a name for Reid Park Zoo's baby elephant

Hey, Tucson! Help pick a name for Reid Park Zoo's baby elephant

Reid Park Zoo's baby elephant was born on Monday, April 6.

UPDATE: This poll has now closed.

Tucson has a new baby elephant and she needs a name. 

The Reid Park Zoo is turning to you, the community, to help come up with a moniker for the new elephant calf. 

Starting today, you can cast a vote for one of three names through an Arizona Daily Star poll.

The baby girl was born April 6 to mama Semba and weighed in at 295 pounds.

The elephant care team put their heads together and came up with the name options, all derived from Swahili. The names of the other elephants at Reid Park Zoo also have ties to their native land in Africa. 

"We wanted to continue that tradition while naming this calf, who will serve as an ambassador for her species and the challenges African elephants face in the wild," the zoo says.

The name options are Mapenzi, which means beloved; Amani, which means peace; and Zawadi, which means gift. 

Vote for your favorite name in the poll below. The poll will close at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22. 

"Ideally, we want a name that either is or can be shortened to two syllables so it's easy to say and remember," said director of zoological operations Sue Tygielski. "We also don't want it to sound too similar to the names of any of the other elephants in the herd so they each know when their name is being called."

The calf joins Semba, father Mabu, sister Nandi, brother Sundzu, and Lungile, who zoo staff say is like an aunt to Nandi and Sundzu.

Although the zoo is currently closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, folks can keep up with the elephant herd, and all other animals, at reidparkzoo.org or facebook.com/ReidParkZoo.

Contact reporter Gloria Knott at gknott@tucson.com or 573-4235. On Twitter: @gloriaeknott


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