Name the Elephant Calf!

Posted at 9:37 am July 12, 2010 by Yadira Galindo

The calf born in April to Swazi has been given a name courtesy of one of our donors: eMacembe La Lu Hlata; keepers call him Macembe (ma KEM bay). Now, after naming seven elephants born at the Wild Animal Park over the past six years, we’re out of ideas! Well, maybe not, but we still want you to suggest names for our youngest African elephant. Our blog readers have been kind enough to help us find very suitable names for Yun Zi, our youngest giant panda, and Zoli, a silvered leaf langur, but now you’ve reached the big time!

We like to think that these naming opportunities have given you an occasion to learn more about species like pandas and langurs. Now it’s time to study up on pachyderm biology, because from July 13 to 25, you’ll have a chance to submit your suggestions via the Zoo’s Web site. Remember: the suggestions should relate symbolically to the calf or elephant conservation. Open up the science books, read through our Animal Bytes elephant page, visit the little guy at the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park, and get inspired.

Keep in mind that we will continue the tradition of translating the name into SiSwati, the language of the Kingdom of Swaziland where the calf’s mother and father were rescued. We’re not going to ask you to submit it in siSwati (we’ll do that for you), but if you can—well, bonus points for you!

Here are a few tidbits about the kid: Born May 12, 2010, he is strong, playful, loves the water, and enjoys spending time with the other boys, including his papa, Mabu.

The best way to really get your creativity flowing is to visit the youngster. Now is a great time to do so, because during the African Summer Festival at the Wild Animal Park we have a special treat for the elephants at 11 a.m. daily: Elephant Rush! Come out to watch the elephants eagerly head out into the exhibit to enjoy the snacks, search for treats, and play with items—and each other! It is easy to confuse the three calves born this year, in February, April, and May respectively, but a staff member is on hand at 11 a.m. to talk with guests about what’s happening and answer questions.

Still need more help? Read the latest blog (Elephants: Umoya’s Calf) written by Curtis Lehman, the animal care supervisor who looks after the elephants, to learn more about the calf’s personality. You can also check out the Meet the Elephants page on our Web site. Here you’ll find the names of the rest of the herd and what they mean. For example, the newest calf’s mother’s name, Umoya, means “spirit” because of her extraordinary personality. In 2004, Vus’musi was named by the King of Swaziland. Since he was the first calf born at the Wild Animal Park, the king chose a name that means “to build a family.”

So get to it. Submit your ideas July 12 to 25. In August, we’ll post our favorite names for an online vote. The name with the most votes will be announced at the Park at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 26.

Yadira Galindo is a senior public relations representative for the San Diego Zoo.

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202 Responses to “Name the Elephant Calf!”

  1. Michelle says:

    Yay!!! I’ll have to brush up on my SiSwati now and come up with a name 🙂 So exciting! I’m a little confused though – we can submit an English name and you will translate it?

    Moderator’s note: Yes, you can submit a name in English and we will translate it to SiSwati. Have fun!

  2. Lisa B says:

    …and what does eMacembe La Lu Hlata; Macembe (ma KEM bay) mean in SiSwati/English?

    Moderator’s note: From what I understand, it’s a translation of the meaning of the donor’s name.

  3. faith says:

    What language is siswati??

    Moderator’s note: SiSwati is one of the languages used in South Africa, as well as in the nation of Swaziland, where our African elephants originated.

  4. Mark says:

    Now that reminds me, you know how some children are named “Elizabeth” or “Daniel” at birth and get called “Betty” or “Dan” as nicknames, and some other children are named “Betty” or “Dan” at birth? I know that “Khosi” is short for “Inhlitiyo ye Inkhosikati,” but which of these is Khosi’s full name? 🙂 At first I thought it was the latterm then I thought it was the former, now seeing that you gave one of her little brothers the long full name “eMacembe La Lu Hlata” I’m not sure again.

  5. Deborah says:

    He loves spending time with his Papa. I’m sure his daddy loves him.

    This is a loose translation on Swahili: Mimi ni nakupenda – I am loved.

    Wonder what it might be like in SiSwati?

    Mimi Ni Nakupenda…

  6. Renee says:

    How fun!

    He sounds like such a cutie! Here’s some names:

    Bafana (or umfaan)


    Big Splash (or Splashes)



  7. kirk says:

    the name I am submitting is “Packy” .The name has been in my memories for 50+ yrs. This name seems to fit the baby elephant . Yeah “Packy”..

  8. Calvin from Canada says:

    just submitted my name idea 🙂

    also, I heard throught he grapevine today that Umgani is once again pregnant and due next year 😀 if this is true this is another great accomplishment as this will be here third calf in 6 years 🙂

  9. Danielle says:

    Calf name :Chance at life

    for those people who saved my mom and dad.

  10. Paula Weber says:

    Although it is not SiSwati, what about the name “Oteka”? It is Ugandan and translates to mean “the strong one”. It was the name given to Nate Henn, the local San Diego volunteer who died Sunday in a terrorist bomb attack in Uganda. Seems like a fitting tribute to a young man who was to working with the nonprofit Invisible Children, dedicated to to ending the decades of violence in the Congo.

  11. Linda says:

    What would be the SiSwati translation for “Gives Life”? This boy loves water which brings life to the Swaziland and a big factor in the huge migration of the African elephants, and his happiness brings life to the herd. You don’t want to call him a water baby because he will grow to be a big strong bull that can help to propigate the existance (life) of his species.

  12. George Middlton says:

    Before reading #10 I was going to suggest Curtis, due to his devotion to the Elephant’s, but #10 has a better Idea.

  13. charlett says:


  14. Ruth T says:

    I like the name Adia which means gift!

  15. Kathy says:

    My name for the baby elephant is:Aarush, ray of sunshine

  16. Victoria says:

    #10 nailed it.

  17. Tony Mosich says:

    Let’s name him “Ube”..which I believe translates in Siswati to “safe journey”…

    … as that is the measure of a good life!…and he would also be wishing all visitors to the park a safe journey.

  18. Anita L says:

    I’d like to name him “Hatari”, which is Swahili for danger and the elephants are now endangered in their homelands.

  19. Dana says:

    Does Tina and Jewel go out to enjoy the Elephant Rush?

    Moderator’s note: No. Tina and Jewel live at the Zoo, while the Elephant Rush occurs at the Wild Animal Park about 40 miles north of the Zoo. However, Tina and Jewel relish the special enrichment their keepers set up just as much as the African elephants at the Park do!

  20. Sue Bourdon says:

    I suggest the name “Three Stars” or “Starry Night” because baby is the third one this year and the nights at the park are filled with stars…

  21. Sue Bourdon says:

    I suggest “Starry Night” or “Three Stars” for the elephants’ name.

  22. Tom Judd says:

    When I look at his picture, I think he should be called “Radar” he’s looks like he’s all ears. I think he is an early warning system with those ears and I think of the Show Mash and how Radar O’reily always helps everyone he can.

  23. Don Stillwell says:

    While discussing names, will someone explain how the Wild Animal Park is to become Safari? This is the name both Channel 10 news and the North County Times is reporting as the new name for the WAP.

  24. Elisa Martin Johnson says:

    Allen Lad is a name that would be just perfect for this adorable baby..and he is adorable..

  25. Wendy says:

    i think BUBUZELA its a good name for the baby elephant or how about Waka Waka?

  26. Joann parzygnat says:

    When i seen the little cutie ,i thought of he was beautiful . So i like the name Zainabu–meaning Beautiful in Swahili.

  27. diana parzygnat says:

    He is a sign of hope for the future of elephants. My name is Nomathemba…..meaning Hope in Zulu

  28. Randy says:

    I suggest “Ma-za-li-wa” for the Elephant’s name

  29. Joann parzygnat says:

    When i first seen the little cutie i thought of beautiful. So i think Zainabu in Swahili -meaning Beautiful fits him.

  30. Dottie Zavodsky says:

    I would call him Hug which is Drukkie in Afrikaan

  31. alicia Pozzo says:

    I think the person who made the comment #10 should be the name chosen for the baby elephant.

  32. Marina Sweetnam says:

    I did a little research and Mmoja kidogo means “the little one” but he probably won’t be little for very long. Also Kijana tembo means boy elephant. Both of these are in Swahili.

  33. RANA HERRO says:

    Carlos is my suggestion! or JAMBO!

  34. ZZT says:

    Let’s keep it simple! What about Jack? Hard to put in a box though!

  35. Jack in Dallas says:

    I like either Oteka or Hatari. Both great names!

  36. BABAR says:

    when my kids were little they watched a cartoon on HBO before they went to school called BABAR about a little elephant, and this little cute thing looks like BABAR if you could get a picture of BABAR you looking at your elephant. so i say name him BABAR thats cute..

  37. J nelson says:


    I like the way it rolls off the tongue and he appears to have a bit of an attitude… like a king.

  38. Sparky Montgomery says:

    I totally agree with several others that Paula Weber, # 10, came up with the very best name. “Oteka” is a most fitting tribute to someone who lost their life doing great work in Uganda.

  39. Debra Noble says:

    Name the elephant “MAMBO” or “MAMBA”

  40. Jane Foster says:

    After looking up the word “spirit” in the thesaurus, I found the word “energy”. Nishati is the word for energy and strength in SiSwati.

  41. Dottie Zavodsky says:

    I would call him Peanut, that is in Swahili Karanga. I think Karanga is really different and will grow with the elephant. <3

  42. Missy Miller says:

    I think the calf’s name should be Jango because I was thinking of mango juice!! 😀

  43. Sunshine says:

    I love the name that #10 chose as well 🙂

  44. Joseph from Illinois says:

    #8 Calvin-Samba is expecting, not Umngani.

  45. Michelle says:

    I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with the comments regarding #10. The name is supposed to be about the baby elephant or elephants and elephant conservation.

  46. Carole in San Diego says:

    While I initially thought a name connected with water would be my choice — related to the critical importance of water in conservation efforts and the calf’s love of water as demonstrated by his swimming ability and his love of his keepers’ spraying water in his mouth, honoring San Diegan Nate Henn (“the strong one”) as suggested by #10 is an inspirational tribute and should be one of the choices offered.

  47. Judy Kiripolsky says:

    “Sparkle” is a similar name to Spirit, his mother. What would the Swahili translation be?

  48. Linda Hoge says:

    I have always been partial to the name “Ernie.”

  49. Don says:

    I endorse the name offered by Paula Weber, #10, Oteka, which in Ugandan means “the strong one.” It would honor Nate Henn, a San Diegan who lost his life in a terrorist attack while on a major humanitarian mission in Uganda. Nate was given this name by the people he served, and deserves to be honored by his home community in this way.

  50. Cindy says:

    I agree , I think # 10 would be a great honor for a great man.

  51. Ed V says:

    Since he’s only one color…, I like SPOT. What’s that in Siswati?

  52. Charlene says:

    Henry the Eighth!!

  53. Lisa B says:

    the elephants are lovin’ the pool today. How are they reacting to the new viewing area? Do they splash the visitors? What fun if they do. Also, is there a keeper stationed at the new viewing area? I thought I saw someone throw something to the elephants. This worries me if the public is giving them food. L

    Moderator’s note: Keepers often toss food pellets to the elephants from the new viewing patio.

  54. Courtney says:

    When will you announce the elephants name?

    Moderator’s note: The name with the most votes will be announced at the Park at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 26.

  55. donna a says:

    By the way what ever happened to Jewel and Tina? Swallowed up by SDZ…..and what’s to be with all these babies that are being born there?? They’re not going to stay babies…farmed out to other zoos?? So, so sad….

    Moderator’s note: Jewel and Tina continue to thrive at the San Diego Zoo. See Elephant Odyssey: One Year.

  56. Mark says:

    SiSwati and Swahili (KiSwahili in Swahili same the way Spanish is español in Spanish) are not the same language! 🙂

  57. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi! I’ve read alot of these comments about giving the May baby ellie his name, and there were alot of great suggestions–some serious, some quite funny! While I was reading, I thought the one name that someone mentioned will fit him pretty well–Bafana. Since all of these ellies were from South Africa, it would be very nice to name the May baby ellie Bafana after the S. African soccer team name–Bafana Bafana–who played in the World Cup soccer tournament this year. Don’t know what language Bafana is from or what it really means, but I’m guessing that it means strong and determined. This baby ellie is one very determined and strong kid that is just enjoying life after a rough start which was the same way the S. African soccer team played their games before they got eliminated. This calf has been fun to watch on the cam, especially when he is in the pool swimming around with that trunk of his as his snorkel tube! Bafana–strong, determined, enjoying life to the fullest!

    Chari Mercier 🙂

    St. Pete, FL

  58. Bonita says:

    I like the name that # 10 had suggested. It would be a great tribute to Oteka and would have great meaning.

  59. Carole in San Diego says:

    I finally caught the baby eles swimming with their mothers and siblings at 2:30 pm today — positively adorable. Great camera work.

  60. Mark says:

    “Although it is not SiSwati, what about the name ‘Oteka’? It is Ugandan…”

    Even more accurately, the name “Oteka” is from the Acoli language.

    “…and translates to mean “the strong one”. It was the name given to Nate Henn, the local San Diego volunteer who died Sunday in a terrorist bomb attack in Uganda. Seems like a fitting tribute to a young man who was to working with the nonprofit Invisible Children, dedicated to to ending the decades of violence in the Congo.”

    Good idea!

    Umoya’s son was born near San Diego in the WAP run by the San Diego Zoo, and Henn was from San Diego. Likewise, elephant conservation includes protecting young elephants in central Africa and Invisible Children’s efforts include protecting young people in central Africa.

    “I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with the comments regarding #10. The name is supposed to be about the baby elephant or elephants and elephant conservation.”

    True, but remember that elephant protection and human protection go hand-in-hand.

    The SDZ/WAP’s efforts to conserve the native habitats of the animals in its collection work alongside groups such as the Elephant Pepper Development Trust so that vulnerable elephants and vulnerable people can thrive together in win-win situations instead of these people seeing foreigners valuing African animals more than African men, women, and children.

    Besides, “Oteka” means “The Strong One” and elephants are strong.

  61. Mark says:

    BTW, what if “Oteka” was translated from Acoli to SiSwati?

  62. Abigail Plizga says:

    My daughter mentioned the name of Sprout.

  63. Victoria Plizga says:

    My other daughter has thought of Spotty.

  64. Abiagil and Victoria Plizga says:

    Since the elephant seems to like water from the hose, my daughters came up with Splash!!!

  65. Courtney says:

    Will you announce the name on this website also?

    Moderator’s note: You bet 😉

  66. Chari Mercier says:

    11pm EDT, Thurs. nite, was just on the ellie cam and watched 3 of the calves have their push and shove thing with each other. The smaller of the calves got pretty bossy when he pushed the slightly bigger calf backwards! That was fun to watch! Good thing you all in Cal still had some daylight left at 8pm PDT so that I could catch that on the cam! BTW, did you all feel that latest earthquake in SoCal that hit about a week or so ago? Just wondering because SoCal has had a good number of quakes in the last few months or so.

    Moderator, can you get this question to the elephant keepers for me? I’m wondering when elephant calves really start to eat solid food? As usual, curious to know about ellies!

    Well, gonna go for now. Will check back later on.

    Chari Mercier 🙂

    St. Pete, FL

  67. Tiffany Abbey says:

    From what I have seen and heard of the calf I think little squirt would be a good name especially if he likes playing in the water and causing mischief among the herd

  68. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi! Just got my name choice on the Name the Elephant page–Bafana! Hope this name is considered for the voting. Was just on the elliecam, saw a few ellies out in the yard walking, sniffing, eating. Still love to watch the calves, tho! They can be so funny sometimes!

    Gonna go, but will be back later on.

    Chari Mercier 🙂

    St. Pete, FL

  69. Cheryl says:

    Whew… with the weather so hot here recently — it’s hard to believe that all the ellies aren’t in the water trying to beat the 100 plus temps!

  70. Barbara B says:

    Kirk, there is already a Packy in the Oregon Zoo

  71. Billy says:

    Call the new elephant BADANG! ( pronounced BA DANG)

  72. Morgan says:

    I couldn’t find the SiSwati translations for the names i came up with, but I thought they sounded really cool in the Swahili translations. Here are my suggestions:

    Kabla ya mvua… meaning- Before the Rain

    Mmoja na Maji… meaning- One with Water

    Mwana wa Kiburi… meaning- Son of the Proud

    I also love the suggestion made by #10. It would be a great tribute to a man who did so much to help end the violence in the Congo and work to bring peace. I also love the suggestion made by #6 (Bafana) and by #29.

  73. Ryan from Oregon says:

    How do you translate English into Siswati? It seems like a very cool languauge!

  74. Dianna from Ohio says:

    To the Ellie Team: The Panda Keepers just posted a “Day In The Life of a Panda Keeper”… could the Ellie Keepers do something like that… (if it already hasn’t been done… if so, Moderator, please point me in the right direction) Thank you!

    Moderator’s note: I’ll forward your suggestion to the Elephant Team.

  75. Susan Balcuns says:

    I wasn’t sure where to post this. I’ve noticed an elephant all alone to the right of where all the other elephants are. She seems so lonely watching all the other elephants play and swim. Is this the pregnant one? Does she interact with any of the others?
    Thank you!!! I LOVE watching this cam!!!!!!!!!

    Moderator’s note: That is a male elephant named Msholo. Read about him in Welcome, Elephant Msholo!

  76. Dianna from Ohio says:

    Wow… everyone is coming up with great names… I’ll throw out a couple I’ve thought of.. I’m using his mom and dad’s names..

    He who walks with spirits

    Spirit Walker

    Son of Spirit (I borrowed that one from Yun Zi 🙂 )

  77. Jack (From Vancouver) says:

    So how many elephants u got now? (male/female/babies etc)

    Moderator’s note: 16. Read their bios on Meet the Elephants. We’ll be adding Makembe’s (male born in April) bio soon and we’ll add the May calf’s bio when his name is announced the end of August.

  78. faith says:

    How about “Aster bakerianus” which translates from Siswati meaning ” Precious and Charming”. ASTER for short? He is very precious to EVERYONE and the way he is such a charming elephant calf!

  79. Allen Nyhuis says:

    I really do love the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Its elephant exhibit is terrific — one of the best around.

  80. Andrew says:

    the name shall be: Oezil

  81. Roxanne says:

    I agree with # 45 regarding naming the baby Elephant. I noticed some of the Elephants are wearing collars?? What is going on??

  82. Donna Bonaccorso says:

    I noticed today around 4:25 PST that Dula and Moya have collars of a sort around their necks. What are they for?

  83. David Eisner says:

    Son of Queen (because he’s the matriarch’s son)
    Little Bull
    Royal Blood

    Moderators, even if you don’t use these, how do you translate these?

    Moderator’s note: Our favorite name suggestions will be sent to our contact in Swaziland for translation.

  84. Susan Balcuns says:

    Thank you!!!! I am so busy watching the Cam that I don’t read the blogs!!! Thanks for your answer!

  85. Nicole says:

    I suggest the name woodii. I believe it means a good luck charm.This name is sweet and cute.

  86. Jack (From Vancouver) says:

    Wow! You guys have already had 3 calves this year! Incredible! Considering 6 of them are males, do you have plans for new homes? And will you keep the two females, like in the wild? And are their anymore females “expecting”?

  87. deb says:

    If I am correct the collars are to study how far they travel in a day and what part of the habitat they utilize the most.

    I like what Whipsnade did for their newborn calf (born the same day as Looney). They auctioned the right to name him on eBay. The highest bidder selected “George”.

  88. Elephant Team says:

    #81, #82, and #87

    The collars are back on the elephants as we develop and test new GPS and audio recording technology to learn more about elephant behavior from our Wild Animal Park herd. Such study is also related to our plans to use the same equipment on African elephants in Botswana, where our field research is being done. A Behavioral Biology Division research student will study the individual elephants’ behaviors and relate her findings to the GPS and audio data produced by the collars. She’ll be providing a blog post later this week to further explain her research.

  89. Don Stillwell says:

    For newcomers to the Wild Animal Park blogs, starting on 9-11-2006, the first of Mabu’s offspring, a set of 3 babies, started with the birth of a girl, Khosi, to Umngani. On 3-11-2007, the first son, Punga, was born to Samba, and on 9-19-2007, Moya delivered a daughter, Kami, producing the first set of “Musketeers”, 2 girls and one boy. I refer to these as the 3 “teenagers”, part way between the adults and the 3 baby boys. On Friday, 3-13-2009, Umngani gave birth to a son, Ingadze, who was 11 months old when the first of the current set of 3 baby boy “Musketeers” appeared on the scene on Valentine’s Day, 2-14-2010. Mabu is the proud papa of 5 sons and 2 daughters.

  90. Jack (From Vancouver) says:

    Thankyou so much! 7 Calves in less than 4 years! What an achievement!

  91. Courtney says:

    I was wondering if there are any other blogs. If so how do I get to them?

    Moderator’s note: We have lots of blog posts! Bookmark our blog home page to always read the most current ones.

  92. Don Stillwell says:

    Love the colors from the new HD cam. The browns really look brown and the greens look green. Where the browns show up is where it was black before. Even the pool looks brown, and it should, after all, when the elephants all go take mud baths and then go into the water, its bound to wash off. I think it is great and the colors of the elephants really appears lifelike. Thanks for the update.

    Moderator’s note: We’re not finished with the upgrade, so stay tuned!

  93. Lisa B says:

    I suggested fire and water for the new calf – fire because his mom is a spitfire and water because he loves it so. I was thinking of something like warrior or brave because he had difficulties at birth but over came them. Any help?

  94. Don Stillwell says:

    Camera pointing at small area of ground, fully magnified. Problem?!?

    Moderator’s note: We are still working on the camera upgrade.

  95. Don Stillwell says:

    There was agreement at one point that the last camera operator of the evening would leave the camera aimed down the field and it would include a view of the pool. I have enjoyed watching elephants in for a swim as late as 8:30 p.m. This also allowed early morning viewers an opportunity to watch elephant activity early in the morning with nearly 3/4 of the field in view. This type of camera etiquette is much appreciated by viewers. It appears that someone, who does not know this etiquette, is moving the camera when it is nearly dark and is leaving the camera pointing to a spot on the ground like it was this morning. I have been a Zoo member over 25 years and can only get to the WAP a few times a month. My greatest enjoyment is to pull up the elecam early in the morning and watch the activity. With the 3 baby boy elephants born this year, and 15 elephants in all, there are a lot of potential opportunities to see action that never gets seen at other times of the day. The new elecam is great and gives the best color when the sun shines, but early morning is great also as the sun starts to come up over the hills.

    Moderator’s note: Again, we have people working on the camera as we switch to HD. Please be patient as we work things out and our new Elephant Cam comes online. We hope it will increase your enjoyment of the Park’s elephant herd.

  96. Elizabeth says:

    Re: webcam WOW

  97. Shirley Ann says:

    Great camera for the elephants same as with the polar bears. Since the elephants are many and huge this camera does them justice.


  98. Connie Jenkins says:

    New CAM is fantastic! On name, I agree with #10.

  99. Chari Mercier says:

    Hey! I just got on the elephant cam, and it is great! I read your little notice yesterday about you all going to install a hi-def cam, and I was really excited to hear about that. Now, you are in the same league with the hi-def polar bear cam! I wonder when the pandacam and apecam will go to hi-def?? Hopefully, very very soon! Waiting for the daily elephant rush to start. Since I live in the eastern time zone, I will be watching at 2pm EDT to see the ellies run out to find their snackies! Fun time!!

    Gonna go for now, but will be back for the ellie rush!

    Chari Mercier 🙂

    St. Pete, FL

  100. Dikembe says:

    This is cool to see the elephants from Colorado.

  101. Julie Griffith says:

    name for baby elephant: Dikembe, Tansi

  102. Laura says:

    Thank you for the fabulous HD cam!!!

  103. Cheryl says:

    YAY — Elephants in HD!! Thanks for the upgrade — it’s fantastic.

    Sadly… some people who shall remain nameless still find something to complain about… sigh…

  104. Marianne says:

    thanks for the new cam! So much better! Wow!

  105. Tanya says:

    Sometimes wishes come true, because I have been wishing and hoping that an HD cam would be installed to view those fabulous elephants—-and, VIOLA!! The elephants, both big and small, are truly one of the most interesting animals to observe with their sophisticated social structure, group child rearing practices, etc. etc. Thanks so much for this wonderful viewing opportunity.

  106. Debi says:

    I chose the name Thunder Spirit. Spirit to honour his mother’s name as well as his own nature and thunder for the sound he makes running, especially as he grows older during Elephant Rush! A majestic name to grow into!

  107. cindy in kc says:

    LOVE THE NEW CAM!!! @@@@@ 🙂

  108. judy says:

    I have been watching the Panda Cam since Yun Zi was born and have drifted over to the polar cam and the elephant cam. I have been enjoying all three, but I was so surprised and pleased today to see the new elephant cam!! Thank you so much. I love watching the new ‘babies’ and the entire family interact with each other and now I can actually SEE them!!

  109. Kay says:

    The new HD cam is terrific. Thank you!

  110. Gracie says:

    Thanks for updating the Elephant Cam! I love the increased size of the screen and the clarity of the view. Thanks again!

  111. Connie says:

    Not so wonderful to me. I get a snapshot with annoying spinning dots in the center. Same with the polar bears. Two out of four and I’m not interested at all in the monkeys. It was fun while it lasted.

  112. Sherry says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new elecam!!


  113. Dianna from Ohio says:

    Connie: On the Polar Bear Cam someone had the same issue with the spinning dots. I can watch the new cams on my personal computer, but I get the spinning dots on my work. The moderator had posted a response from an IT person who had explained why they are there and how to get rid of them… I just don’t remember exactly which Polar Bear post… 🙁

  114. Katy B says:

    The River of Life or Life’s Eternal Waters. My boys and I are so excited about this new baby and the web cam. Thank you.

  115. Diane says:

    The new cam is awesome. Hint to #111 – just wait a few seconds for the camera to load and the “spinning dots” go away. Then you will have a beautiful clear screen with a fantastic view of the elephants and polar bears. Also noticed that you must keep your mouse away from the picture. Otherwise you get “pause lines”.

    Was able to see the “Elephant Rush” last weekend on the old cam. It was great! Cant wait to see it on the new cam!

    Many thanks for updating the cams. They are great! Will the pandas be next??

  116. sandy s says:

    Thank you so very much for the huge screen w/great clarity. I am so appreciative of all that you (keepers and staff) do and am in awe of all of your hard yet dedicated work. The baby elephants are SOOOO adorable and enjoyable to watch romping around and swimming.

  117. Don Stillwell says:

    So who is the camera tinkerer? The camera was aimed perfectly at 8:30 p.m. with a view of the field and of the pool, I’m talking when it was getting very dark. AT 6:00 a.m. it’s aimed at a very small area. The fun of getting up and enjoying watching anything that moves and the sun coming up is totally ruined when there are supposedly no operators on duty. Love the cam, don’t like the tinkerer!

  118. Bamby's Team says:

    We want to welcome the new baby elelphant! We should name him Peter. If is a girl we need to name her Rose. “Peter because he is gray and is my favorite cute name”- Kate,

    “Rose because the people all over the world will like the name Rose”, “they will like the elephant and the name!”- George

  119. patty says:

    My granddaughter says that Samoya would be a wonderful name!

  120. Laura says:

    111. It’s not the fault of the cam. You are missing something from your browser.

  121. Web Team says:

    #111 Connie

    Some DSL connections are too slow to watch live streaming HD video, especially if the network is shared and trying to do other downloads (checking e-mails, other Web pages, etc.) at the same time, something very likely if you are trying to watch from a work computer connected to others. We’ll continue to look into how best to deliver Elephant Cam and Polar Cam for our audience. Thank you for your feedback, which will be useful for making any future adjustments.

  122. Lauren says:

    I love this new HD elephant cam – it’s terrific. I especially enjoy watching the elephant rush when I can catch it. Question: When the elephants leave their enclosure for the rush, do they go in the order of their hierarchy, or is it first come, first serve?

  123. Connie says:

    Thanks Web Team. Most likely it’s my dial up connection.

  124. Michelle says:

    How much longer will poor Msholo have to be alone?

    Moderator’s note: We’re working on a plan to introduce some elephant friends, but these things take time. In the meantime, he seems to enjoy his deer visitors. 😉

  125. rita says:

    Love the new cam. Wish there could be a text box below the cam picture where a zoo volunteer could identify who we are seeing, especially on close-ups. I know, you give us a better picture and we ask for more. Like when an animal keeper kindly provide a lot of information on the blog, and then gets bombarded with hundreds of other questions.

  126. Reilly says:

    I think his/her name should be Kojo. It is agirls name and boys name. Kojo is a cute name for a elephant.

  127. Elephant Team says:

    #122 Lauren

    A little of both. Whichever elephant is closest to the gate and decides to go for it usually gets out first. If they hesitate because they feel the more dominant elephants are too close for comfort, then they wait their turn via hierarchy position or if an opportunity allows for them to go next.

  128. BAILEY says:

    i think u should name him gemini or aqua witch means water

  129. Lauren says:

    What about Dumbo?

  130. Sue says:

    The new elephant cam is great! Almost as great as the elephants! Thank you – love it!

  131. Janice Hunter says:

    I cannot view the new streaming video. I upgraded from 1 megabit to 3 megabits. Is this not fast enough?

    I can’t possibly afford cable internet and wanted to ask if someone might be able to help me determine if speed is the problem.

    No one else seems to be having an issue viewing the new cam.

    I really would appreciate some help.


    Web Team responds: Check to ensure your flash player is up to date (you should have version 9.3 or newer). This really should be all you need. If you have the up-to-date flash and browser, we’d need to know a bit more about what you are seeing–any errors? Do you get any video at all or a picture at least? Also, do you have any kind of firewall or anything like that which might block video?

  132. Lauren says:

    What fun! I am watching 4 of the elephant youngsters cavorting in the water. Knocking each other over, sitting and standing on one another –just like the kids do in the pool at my house. Kids are kids, no matter what the species. It was just delightful. Elephant team, thanks for answering my question. I did notice that when one of the adults went into the water, the youngsters immediately started out of the water until they saw what the adult was going to do.

  133. Lisa B says:

    Happy Zoo Keeper’s Week!!!!!

  134. Michellephant says:

    In response to #10: I believe Mr. Henn deserves a tribute to honor him and his work, but I don’t believe naming the calf Oteka is the best way to do it. I think the calf’s name should relate to his personality or elephant conservation as requested, and be in SiSwati.

  135. Bethaney says:

    Well if its a girl I would name it Lulu if its a boy probably Taki.I Love those names! =)

  136. George Middlton says:

    I’m one the ones who are only a still picture that changes once in a while. Is it because I have a Mac?

    Moderator’s note: The new Cam works on our Macs. Are your flash and browser up to date? Do you have any kind of firewall or anything like that which might block video?

  137. WILLIAM PLIZGA says:

    Now, my son who is fond of trains, looks for the name to be Choo-Choo!!!

  138. Dianna from Ohio says:

    I was wondering about the ellie keepers and safety. Do you have any rules about being in the same enclosure with the ellies? For example, the panda team will not be in the same enclosure with any pandas over 1 year old…Do you always keep a barrier between yourself and your ellies?

    At what point will you need to separate your males from each other? A typical herd only has 1 bull, correct? Will the calves at some point be sent to other zoos in need of a bull?

    Thank you…
    P.S. The cams are great…

    Moderator’s note: We use protected contact with all the elephants in our care, meaning a protective barrier between elephant and keeper is always present.

  139. kimmi says:

    Hi! I have been watching the heard and I have seen that there are two deer sometime in with them. Are the deer wild or tame? The baby was having fun with them. I like the new format with the cam. Will be voting in the naming contest. What will happen with all the male elephants? Will you make room for them at the park or will some of them go to different zoos? Keep up the good work and have fun too.

    Moderator’s note: Wild mule deer often jump into the elephant yard to see if there are any leftovers.

  140. Don Stillwell says:

    Curious! Is there a party going on? That’s a lot of lights for 10:15 p.m. Was just making one last check before turning my computer off. The camper’s area and even the balloon are all lit up. Never checked this late before.

    Moderator’s note: We often have after-hours catered events, including our popular Roar & Snore sleepovers.

  141. Alice says:

    I adore watchung the Africian elephant babies, mommies and papa Mabu. Also, I adore all the pandas. Thanks for the oportunity to view. It makes my always hectiic days brighter to see them. How long will it take to get the elephant cam back up on a full time basis? The snatches of view I get now makes me long for the constant view. Agin, thanks for the opportunity to see all these great animals.

    Moderator’s note: The installation of the Cam is complete and you should be seeing a constant view. Please ensure your flash player is up to date (version 9.3 or newer).

  142. David Eisner says:

    Two Dozen Days (the second consecutive birth on the 12th of the month)

    Born With Family (as Umoya was with the herd when giving birth)

  143. faith says:

    but can u acturally suggest a name that is already translated into Siswati?

  144. Allie says:

    First of all I love love love the new HD picture. And it’s much larger on my computer for some reason. I just finished reading all of the blogs, lots of great name suggestions. I can’t wait to see which one will be up for voting. Because this little guy started life alittle on the rough side. He has such a great personality and it shows every day I watch him. I suggest “zest for life”. Thank you for the opportunity to submit a name.

    Thank you to all the keepers for your hard work and dedication. You are truly inspiring. 🙂

  145. Don Stillwell says:

    Looks like another night the camera will be left aimed at a small portion of the field and with no view of the pool area. It has been aimed at the current area for close to 2 hours.

    Moderator’s note: Please remember that we don’t have someone manning the Cam in the evening. The Cam was most likely left facing an area where most of the elephants were before the volunteer signed off.

  146. Don Stillwell says:

    Suggest April for name. Only baby, so far, born in April. Or August, the 26th of which the name chosen for the baby will be announced.

  147. megan says:

    what is it. if it is a boy i would call it jake. if its a girl i would call it mia.

    Moderator’s note: The elephant calf is a boy.

  148. Lisa McKaughan says:

    Her name should be August, but I would definitely call her Auggie, look at that adorable little face, the cute tilt, yes, she is Auggie…

  149. Kristen W says:

    the baby elephant should be named KWEKU…this is an African khan name meaning “born on a Wednesday” since he was born on a Wednesday!!!

  150. Carolyn Leavitt says:

    I think my choice for the youngest elephants name should be (in agreement with #40)

    “Nishati”. I think it is a great name for the youngest male born to a captive herd. Maybe Nishi could be the nickname. It is a good name for a hopeful future.

    I would like to say I think the name Sprout (#62) is very clever because from little seeds big things do grow.

  151. Nina says:

    maybe “Longevity” translated into SiSwati?

  152. donna a says:

    I am just wondering …as they grow up what will happen to all these male babies??

  153. Lee jackson says:

    I say something simple like ( KENYA). Not to sure what it means but it sounds nice.

  154. Lee jackson says:

    Ok, found out what Kenya means. Animal Horn.

  155. Lee jackson says:

    OK, if not kenya, how about

    karasi, it means life and wisdom. and it is a unisex name. thank-you.

  156. Mark says:

    BTW, the webcam video quality is great on my DSL now. No more choppiness! The wider screen is cool too. Thanks!

  157. Don Stillwell says:

    What a fantastic day at the WAP! I got more than 20 minutes of video of elephants in the pool! I’ve been trying to get the 3 baby boys all at once and have never gotten more than one. I am positive that I got two of the three in the water at one time, with some teenagers and adults, but Dula took Looty in and back out so fast (although I know Looty snuck back in one more time) it was hard to tell. I believe I could count 8 at one time. After all the times I have come out and tried when noone went in the water, I am on cloud 9. Someone said there were only 5 keepers there today. I got to the park at 1:00 p.m. and I didn’t see a keeper until nearly 3 p.m. When I come the next time, I will have some DVD’s for the keepers so you can take them home and check out all the action for yourselves. Thanks for all your hard work in getting the place ready for THE BIG RUSH and especially for the keepers BIG RUSH before the elephants are let out. It’s great fun to watch all the preparations from the elecam. Noticed the water was only 2 steps deep today. Wonder if being less deep helped the elephants to decide to go for their swim today?

  158. Don Stillwell says:

    For anyone who would like to watch the action on the elecam, the website is and if you click on it, you can see the action from your home.

  159. Michelle says:

    I’ve noticed over the past few “rushes” that I’ve seen that it seems like 1 elephant is always held back and made to go last…am I correct on this?

  160. Cheryl says:

    # 158 Don — How lucky — I have yet to catch any of the ellies swimming — must have been so much fun!!

  161. Grace says:

    I just noticed, from watching the Elephant Cam, that one of them has a “collar” around their neck. It looks like a band of some sorts, but I couldn’t tell if it goes all the way around the neck. Is this for tagging purposes?

    Moderator’s note: See comment #88.

  162. Sharon Russ says:

    I can’t tell you how GREAT the new elephant web cam is!!!! Now you can see them move in real time!!! Thanks so much.

  163. Linda luvs pandas says:

    Does anyone else have problems watching the cam? It keeps freezing up when I watch it. The picture is great though. I was wondering if it is my computer.

    Moderator’s note: I’ve forwarded your comment to our Web Team.

  164. Lauren says:

    I was a complete panda cam groupie until this new elephant web cam. It is wonderful, and I find myself spending more time with the elephants now, and I am just so amazed by their interaction and rules. Last night about 10 pm or so est, so 7 ish your time, I tuned in to see one of the “little guys” trying time after time to get across a log, and, of course, he always got stuck in the middle. He kept at it, falling off on his head until he finally was able of figure out the way to move his hind legs up and over. Then another little guy who was standing with his mother started to push around the calf with the log. They kept at it, and it was obviously building in intensity because suddenly there were 3 females breaking them up and surrounding them to keep them apart. It was so interesting to watch this behavior. It was also so funny seeing the calf chasing a deer all around. He was running fast and his ears were just flapping in the breeze. It saddens me to think that the only elephants I ever saw in person had chains attached to their legs. I love what you do for these majestic creatures at WAP.

    Moderator’s note: We’re glad your expanding your animal cam viewing! The elephants are wonderful, aren’t they?

  165. Donna Bonaccorso says:

    I was wondering if there is any way to know the ages of the adult elephants since they were rescued from being culled?

  166. Elizabeth says:

    The freezes usually last only a few seconds. Sometimes I have to right click and reload but certainly worth it. Wonderful pictures!!

  167. LJ says:

    Moderator: the cam goes to a black screen just seconds after clicking on it. Is anyone else having this problem? it also happens with the polar bear cam.

    Moderator’s note: We haven’t had or heard of this problem.

  168. Cheryl says:

    #164 – Lauren — so glad you found the elephant cam! I was an avid panda cam viewer as well — but now I check out the elephant cam as well as the polar cam too — with fingers crossed that Chinook is expecting cubs!! Can’t wait to see the cub cam in action!! Keeping all my fingers, toes and anything else I can cross crossed!

  169. cindy in kc says:

    MAN!! the balloon looks soooooo close to the trees while flying over the elephants…

  170. Karen of Chandler says:

    I just saw 2 of the baby elephants either playing or fighting. They were trying to push each other backwards and one of the older elephants broke it up. Were they fighting or playing? Not sure which one.

  171. Karen of Chandler says:

    #168 – I too am an avid Panda cam viewer as well as the polar and ape cam. I hope Chinook is pregnant with baby also.

    I like watching the elephant rush everyday. Today I had my 1 1/2 year old grandson on my lap and showed him all the cams and I believe he was more fascinated with the elephant cam because they were all walking around.

  172. Don Stillwell says:

    Re 167. Picture starts black, lasts all of 3 seconds. What’s the problem with that?

    Moderator’s note: We’re looking into it.

  173. Don Stillwell says:

    Hope you keepers enjoy the DVD’s. The first pool party was over 25 minutes on July 26. Found another one on July 10 with about 8 minutes and on July 16 with about 10 minutes that I added to this DVD. Still not sure I got all 3 of the baby boys in the water at the same time, but I know all three got in there during the 25 minutes. Enjoy!

  174. Marie says:

    I love your Elephant Cam! The babies are adorable and the big yard is like a Garden of Eden for them. Today I watched as Lootie and eMac head-butted too near the hill, and Kami came over and gently pulled Lootie away with her trunk around his belly – the other calf ran sulking to mom and nursed. Later another calf was rolling on the hillside and the cam zeroed in which was pure joy. I can’t say enough about how wonderful this is to watch! The only thing is – I’m not sure I have the names correct, someone else suggested their names be flashed on screen if possible.

  175. cindy in kc says:

    10:00am- i saw a man and a woman carrying what looked like a bag over their shoulders in the yard– are they inspecting the yard before the ellie’s are let out?

    Moderator’s note: Could it have been a bag of food pellets?

  176. Diana S. says:

    I love, love, love the new ellie cam! What with all the new calves this is fantastic. I’ve caught several “pool parties”! Even the tiniest babies love the water.

  177. cindy in kc says:

    #175 — hmmm- didnt look like they were wearing regular uniform either– I think I saw them up close along the wall right after ‘rush’ perhaps taking pictures? 🙂

  178. Elise says:

    My mom and I looked at names and we like the name Dakarai. It means happiness in African. We think it would suit a baby elephant very well.

  179. Don Stillwell says:

    Great camera positioning when left for overnight. Can see campers looking into the enclosure and see elephants as they are walking towards the far end. Can also see the pool which appears to be emptying because could only see 3 steps last night and can see 4 steps now. For me, it’s great, because I am usually up by 5 a.m. and the first thing I do is turn on my computer, click on elephant cam, and watch it from the kitchen as I eat breakfast. Thanks, camera operator!

  180. Don Stillwell says:

    For newcomers to the Wild Animal Park blogs, starting on 9-11-2006, the first set of Mabu’s offspring, a set of 3 babies, started with the birth of a girl, Khosi, to Umngani. On 3-11-2007, the first son, Punga, was born to Samba, and on 9-19-2007, Moya delivered a daughter, Kami, producing the first set of 3 musketeers, 2 girls and one boy. These are the 3 “teenagers” that are seen in the yard and field. On Friday, 3-13-2009, Umgani gave birth to a son, Ingadze, who was 11 months old when the current set of 3 baby boys first appeared on the scene on Valentine’s Day, 2-14-2010, and has the nickname, Looty. His mother is Dula and he has an older brother, Moose, born on 2-23-2004 (she was pregnant when she arrived at the WAP). Swazi gave birth to her first, a son, Makembay, on 4-12-2010 and Moya rounded out this set of musketeers, all boys, with the birth of a son on 5-12-2010. A name for her son is the subject of this blog and his name is scheduled to be announced on 8-26-2010. Mabu is the proud papa of 5 sons and 2 daughters. Samba is due in January 2011.

  181. Dianna from Ohio says:

    Moderator: Do you know if there is someone at the ellie exhibit who would be able to tell me who I’m looking at when I visit WAP? I try to figure it out, but there are so many!! I’m getting so excited about my visit… Pandas and elephants.. oh my!! 🙂

    Moderator’s note: There is usually a trained volunteer available to answer questions about the elephants and point out which ones you’re interested in. During Elephant Rush, one of the elephant keepers joins visitors on the new Elephant Viewing Patio to share fascinating tidbits about the herd and answer any questions. You’ll have a great time, Dianna!

  182. Gisele Fontaine says:

    Will we be able to vote online for a name for the baby elephant? Or do we have to do so in person? When will you release the names that made the list of finalists? It’s now August! Will there be a naming ceremony?

    Moderator’s note: We’ll offer online voting soon. The naming ceremony will be held at the Park at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 26.

  183. Cheri R says:

    It looked like one of the baby elephants was eating dung. Is that normal? The new cam is great!

    Moderator’s note: Yes, that is normal (for elephants, that is!).

  184. Laura M. says:


    All of the adults in the WAP heard were born ~1991 in Kruger National Park (South Africa). They survived an initial cull as juveniles and were translocated to Swaziland in 1994. So although we don’t have firm birth dates, they are all about 19-20.

  185. machelle says:

    how about Mimsy

  186. tracy hales says:

    i like the name maisy, or yang tze for the baby elephant. Im frm barry in south wales in the uk & i would just like 2 say how great ur site is, i loves it & the live camz r excellent!! keep up the great work guys!

  187. Dianne in Texas says:

    I have already sent my suggestion for a name for the newest boy. And I am thoroughly enjoying the ‘Rush’ every day.

    But, OMG! Today I think I was watching Moya and baby boy, when she defecated, The calf then proceeded to put his face in it, and then was eating out of it. Is this harmful to these calves to do this?
    I was horrified, but don’t know if it is common for this to happen.

    I can’t believe I’m posting a comment/question about this gross event!

    Moderator’s note: It is very common for babies to do this. Only we humans think it’s gross 😉


    I have suggested “Kumbaya” for the new baby. It means “Come by here, my Lord” or “Come by, God”.

    I believe that elephants do need God’s protection too, and that he needs to walk with them now and then.

    What do you all think of this name ?

  189. Gisele Fontaine says:

    The suspense is killing me! What’s the hold-up on the list of names that made the final cut? 🙂

  190. Laura says:

    I’ve seen a rhino baby do this too. He cleared the place!!

    I read that the reason animal babies eat dung is to obtain crucial bacteria for their digestive system. Yes?

    Moderator’s note: Yes indeed!

  191. Dianne in Texas says:

    Thanks, moderator, and Laura #190, for explaining the dung situation. (But it’s still gross! ;D )

  192. Molly says:

    Hi, I live in England. I,m almost 70, and I don’t sleep at night.So instead, I,ve been watching San Diego zoo for a long time now. I’m really hooked.Wouldn’t I just love to have something named after me….ANYTHING !

    I’ve just noticed that times up. Aahh..never mind.

  193. Kim says:

    I watch the Elephants , polar bears and Pandas at work……..makes for a very wonderful day 🙂 Yes , I do get my work done too !!! Today has been just wonderful. Watching the baby elephants “ruff” house is too funny. They are so precious – and to sit here in NC and watch these little miracles …well it’s wonderful. So many smiles today from them. Thank you for sharing your wonderful Zoo animals with those of us that may never get to CA. The smiles you are sending to NC are very much appreciated .

    Moderator’s note: You are very welcome, Kim!

  194. Allie says:

    I just read that we have have to visit the WAP in order to vote for our favorite baby name. Is this true?? or are we going to be able to vote on line?????
    It’s a beautiful day today at the WAP. Love to watch the kids in the pool. Yo can tell they take such joy in their afternoon pool time. The little ones especially. They bring a smile every time. I have several staff members who are now hooked as well …. great in between work viewing. I feel sometimes I get more done when I have a smile on ….. 🙂
    Keep that great camara work coming …. we all enjoy it. Best regards to those volunteers. You are the best !!!!!

    Moderator’s note: We will offer online voting for the baby elephant’s name. We’ll have the link soon!

  195. Don Stillwell says:

    Camera was aimed beautifully at 8:30 p.m. for a view of the field plus the pool. This morning it is aimed to totally eliminate the field and pool. What happens between the time a camera operator leaves it aimed beautifully and the next morning when there is supposedly no camera operator on duty? Hope it can be aimed back in the field before 9 a.m.

    Moderator’s note: We’ll look into it.

  196. Elizabeth says:

    Aug. 9, 4pm – Moya’s baby drinking water with his trunk – not having to smooch his face down to get it into his mouth!!

  197. morgan says:

    I think you shoud name him april if he was born on april aug10,2010 7;30 with some one that cute it’s april

  198. Don Stillwell says:

    NAME OUR NEW CALF on the right side of the elephantcam picture is what you click on to submit your choice for the new calf from the 3 listed to be chosen from. It also shows how many votes have been cast.

  199. BenDavid Villarreal says:

    I he should be “called Nuwe Baba.” He should be called Nuwe Baba because he is the youngest in the family.He is the the new baby or in afrikcaan “Nuew baba”

  200. jules says:

    He should be grey because he is gray.

  201. Allie says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the daily “pool party”. They look like they are having so much fun ……. Love the new camara with close ups of the foot care and training of the babies. It’s fun to watch and very relaxing at the same time. Big hugs to you all ….. appreciate your hard work and dedication.. 🙂

  202. Kaitland says:

    Why doesn’t Msholo father any of the calves? I noticed he’s the same age as Mabu.

    Moderator’s note: He currently lives in a separate exhibit, so has not had access to any of the females.