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Reid Park Zoo's baby elephant's name up for a vote. How the calf is doing in the full habitat

Baby Elephant
Posted at 6:08 AM, Apr 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-05 14:40:50-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Reid Park Zoo's elephant herd grew in early March, and the newborn calf is doing well.

“She is 327 pounds. As of today, we weigh her every single morning. And she grows within like two to four pounds almost every single day,” said Brooke Majkowicz, a member of the elephant care team.

As of Friday, the calf was introduced to the rest of the exhibit, letting the public get an up close look.

But she is also spending more time away from her mom, Samba.

“The first couple of weeks, she is attached to mom. Absolutely glued. She is usually under mom's legs. And recently, this week, she started venturing out away from mom and becoming more curious with our team," said Majkowicz.

But as the calf grows bigger and bigger, the zoo is looking to make her name official.

One the Reid Park Zoo's website, you can choose from three names:

  • Meru, in honor of Mount Meru in Tanzania.
  • Zalika, means, "well born," in Swahilii.
  • Zuma, in honor of the Zuma rock formation in Nigeria.

When asked if she has a favorite of the three, Majkowicz said the care team thinks Meru would be the best pick.
"The reason for that is because Meru is the fifth tallest in Africa. And this is sambas fifth calf, as well as it's the fifth member of the herd," said Majkowicz.

The calf's schedule can change daily, but she is usually out in the exhibit between 10 a.m. and noon daily.

Blake Phillips is a reporter for KGUN 9. Originally from St. Louis, Mo., Blake grew up in Sierra Vista. During his college tenure at the Missouri School of Journalism, Blake worked for the NBC affiliate KOMU-TV in Columbia. He is excited to return to a place he calls home and give back to the community in which he grew up. Share your story ideas and important issues with Blake by emailing