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Elephant Calf Makes Public Debut on October 9

Female calf is ready to venture into the yard at one week old.

Elephant Calf Makes Public Debut on October 9

Elephant calf with the herd. Photo by ABQ BioPark.

October 8, 2013

The newest addition to the ABQ BioPark, a female Asian elephant born on October 2, will make her public debut on Wednesday, October 9 at 11:30 a.m. Mayor Richard J. Berry invites Zoo guests to welcome the calf, as she explores the main yard with mother Rozie, 4-year-old sister Daizy, and grandmother Alice. Debut guests can also enjoy giveaways, discovery stations and a keeper Q&A. The elephants will be out in the yard until 1:30 p.m. and possibly longer, depending on the herd’s needs.

“Rozie is a rock-star mom,” said Rhonda Saiers, Elephant Manager. “She knows exactly what her job is, standing over the calf to protect her, moving in positions to allow the calf to nurse and making sure older sister Daizy is gentle. We’ve been monitoring them around the clock for the last week, and it makes our job a lot easier knowing that Rozie is an attentive and dedicated mother.”

Introductions between the calf, Daizy and Alice began just two days after birth. Alice, an experienced mother and grandmother, was immediately receptive to the calf. This is Daizy’s first experience with a calf, and she has been extremely curious about her little sister.

“Daizy poked and nosed the calf for the first few days, trying to figure out how the calf would respond,” said Saiers. “The calf is Daizy’s new favorite playmate. Rozie does a great job letting the two play while making sure Daizy gives the calf space to rest.”

The calf’s next big milestone is getting a name. Facebook fans and Zoo guests will be able to vote for their favorite from a slate of four selected by zookeepers:

  • Chamiza - a native flower with a ‘z’ substitution to match Rozie and Daizy
  • Jazmine - an Asian flower with the characteristic ‘z’
  • Nita - in honor of a beloved and personable elephant who lived at the San Diego Zoo
  • Roxy - a fun compliment to ‘Rozie’ that keepers have had in mind for several years

The results from the Facebook poll and voting box, which will be located in the Zoo’s Cottonwood Café after the debut, will determine the calf’s name. The winning name will be announced on Monday, Oct. 21.

After the calf’s debut on Oct. 9, the calf and family will venture into the front yards each day for a few hours. The schedule will vary depending on weather and the needs of the herd. Guests can find the daily schedule by checking www.abqbiopark.com/elephants, calling 311 or asking a Zoo cashier upon arrival.

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