PORTLAND -- The Oregon Zoo has announced the name of Rose-Tu's elephant calf Monday after the public got involved by casting their votes online.
Votes were accepted through Sunday, in a poll set up on the Oregon Zoo website and the top choice was Lily.
“The outpouring support for the zoo and its newest resident has been incredible,” said Zoo Director Kim Smith, following the calf's birth in late November. “Rose-Tu and her calf are doing well. They’re bonding and comfortable with each other. Now it’s time to give the calf a name that suits her.”
Latest updates: Rose-Tu zoo blog
Photos: Rose-Tu and her calf
Raw video: Rose-Tu's calf
Born at 300 pounds, the female calf is healthy and active and getting along well with her mother and other members of the herd.
Zookeepers came up with five of their favorite name options for the calf and then the public got to narrow it down from there.
Here are the five names that the public got to choose from:
- Jaidee (Thai for “good-hearted”)
- Sirikit (name for Thai royalty, literal meaning is “glorious”)
- Rakhi (Sanskrit for “love/bond between siblings”)
- Lily (following the flower theme of mom’s name, Rose-Tu, or Rose for short)
- Siddhi (Sanskrit for “perfection”; wife of Ganesha)
Zoo insists calf will stay in Portland
In the days following the calf's birth, questions arose whether she would remain at the Oregon Zoo. She is owned by a company based in California that rents out some elephants for movies and special events.
The Oregon Zoo held a press conference and assured the public that the calf would not leave, despite their contract with Have Trunk Will Travel. The Calif. company also responded, releasing a statement which said it "has no intention of taking the calf."
The company said it supports the Oregon Zoo's elephant breeding program and the calf will remain a part of it, along with Tusko, the calf's father, which Have Trunk Will Travel also owns.