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Elephant Baby Naming in the Works at the San Diego Zoo

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If you’ve never named a baby, you are in luck.

This baby, however, weighs more than 300 pounds and has leathery skin and a long trunk that helps him wash his back when he feels like taking a bath.

Meet the youngest of three male baby elephants or calves, also known as pachyderms, born on May 12 at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. This little guy doesn’t have a name, so the Park’s elephant-care staff is taking name suggestions through July 25 at www.sandiegozoo.org.

The baby elephant, now 2-months-old, was born to Mom, Umoya, which translates to ‘spirit’ in Siswati, the language of Swaziland.

Before you start flipping through your baby books, the name must be symbolic, said Zoo Spokeswoman Dani Dodge. Suggestions can be submitted in English but will be translated into Siswati.

The staff will read all suggestions and decide on which ones will make the final cut. A list of finalists will then be posted on the Park’s Web site in August for a vote. And finally, the most popular name will be announced on Aug. 26 at the Park’s elephant exhibit.

If you think you could come up with a name after actually seeing the baby elephant, head over and see the calf during the Park’s African Summer Festival. The herd can be seen daily at 11:00 a.m. while they play and hunt for treats. There’s always a staff member on hand in case you want to ask any questions, too.

Visitors can see the Park’s two other calves, also males. One was born on Valentine’s Day to Ndlulamitsi, and the other was born April 12 to first-time mom Swazi.

They are part of a herd of seven African elephants that were brought to the Park near Escondido in 2003 from Swaziland, where they were scheduled to be culled.

Let the baby names begin!

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