Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is putting the naming of its precious new pachyderm up for a vote. The African elephant calf, born July 29 at the zoo, will have its name decided through an online poll at lowryparkzoo.com/contest. The list of possible names all have Swahili meanings and start with “M” in honor of the elephant's mother Matjeka. They include Maswane (infant), Mahlatsi (forest), Mavi (voices), Memeta (shout) and Mngani (friend). After the field is narrowed down, Matjeka and the baby will choose from two names during a special enrichment event, the zoo said.
The zoo is also holding a special “Two Cute” event Saturday to introduce the newborn and celebrate its 7-month-old sister Mpumi. The event, from 10 a.m. to noon, will include docent talks, animal enrichments and activities for kids. The event is included with daytime admission to the zoo. The newborn is the first African elephant calf born in 2013 in the population managed by AZA-accredited zoos and wildlife centers in North America, the third ever born at Lowry Park Zoo.