Help Us Name the Elephant Calf!

Reid Park Zoo’s elephant calf is now a full week old and she needs a name! Reid Park Zoo and the Arizona Daily Star have partnered to ask the community to vote in a poll to pick the calf’s name!

The Zoo’s elephant care team has put their heads together and come up with the following options:

Mapenzi – Meaning: Beloved
Amani – Meaning: Peace
ZawadiMeaning: Gift

Votes for the calf’s name can be submitted on the Arizona Daily Star’s website.

The names are all derived from Swahili. The names of the other elephants in the herd (Mabu, Semba, Lungile, Sundzu, and Nandi) also all have ties to the elephants’ native land in Africa. The Zoo 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.

In addition to paying tribute to the herd’s native land, the Zoo is looking for a name the elephant calf will be able to recognize as her own.

“Ideally, we want a name that either is or can be shortened to two syllables so it’s easy to say and remember,” said Dr. Sue Tygielski, Director of Zoological Operations. “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 poll will close at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22 and Reid Park Zoo will announce the winner in the Arizona Daily Star and on the Zoo’s social media that afternoon.

Happy voting!