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Posted by Diana Jones on 04/19/2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     April 19, 2011



Tara Henson                       (405) 425-0219, (405) 919-9038, cell or [email protected]

Candice Rennels                 (405) 425-0298, (405) 412-6172, cell or [email protected]



The Oklahoma City Zoo's new elephant calf has arrived, and we need a name for this precious pachyderm! The Zoo and are pleased to offer all ele"fans" the chance to vote on a name for the new baby. 

Participants may cast their vote by logging on to or and choosing their favorite name. The elephant care team has picked their three favorite names and it is up to the public to decide the winner! Voting will take place online and the winning name will be announced on Saturday, May 7 – just in time for Mother’s Day!


The three names chosen are:

  • Malee: Pronounced "MAY-lee," this is the Thai name for "flower" or "jasmine." This name is the keeper's choice, meaning it's their personal favorite!
  • Annika: Pronounced "AH-nik-uh," is a Dutch name that means "favor" or "grace."
  • Hanako: Prononced, "HAH-nuh-koh," is Japanese for "flower girl."


Want to learn more about the elephant calf and get up-to-date information on her progress? Visit the Zoo's Facebook page for current information, as well as photos of mom and baby! Become a "fan" of the page at and get all the details about special Zoo happenings! Also, stay tuned for an announcement about a baby elephant birth registry being organized by the Oklahoma Zoological Society. 

The Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden is celebrating the first elephant birth in the Zoo's history! Asha, a 16-year-old Asian elephant, delivered a healthy 304-pound female calf Friday night, April 15 inside the Oklahoma City Zoo's new Elephant Habitat. Sneezy, the 39-year-old father, resides at the Tulsa Zoo. Attended by the Zoo’s elephant care team and assisted by the Zoo’s veterinary staff, Asha delivered her calf at 9:13 p.m. Sister and now, Aunt Chandra, almost 15-years-old watched from afar.

The Zoo’s elephant care team will keep first-time mom, Asha and her calf under a 24-hour watch for the next few days and possibly weeks.  Mom and yet-to-be-named newborn will remain off public view to allow time for bonding and to monitor their health. Chandra may remain inside during this time as a support to her sister and to gradually meet her new herd member.

We’re wild about elephants at the Oklahoma City Zoo! Named the state’s #1 attraction and the third-most family-friendly zoo in the nation, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is located in the heart of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District at the crossroads of I-35 and I-44. The Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with exhibit buildings closing at 4:45 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages three to 11 and seniors ages 65 and older. Children two and under are admitted free. Are you a Zoo fan?  Find us at For more information about the Zoo, visit



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The Zoo is a fully accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Association of Museums (AAM) as both a living museum and a botanical garden. AZA accredited facilities are dedicated to providing excellent care for their plants and animals, a great experience for guests and a better future for all living things.

A New Breath of Fresh Air: As of Nov. 1, 2007, state law prohibits smoking inside zoological parks. Please help us abide by this law by refraining from smoking within the Zoo. Thank you for maintaining a smoke-free environment for all living things!