Elephant Calf Has a Name!

Posted at 4:29 pm August 26, 2010 by Debbie Andreen

We don’t have to call him “baby” or “the May calf” or “the littlest one” any more: from now on the youngest elephant calf at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park will be called Emanti!

The Park held a naming ceremony this morning, which I was privileged to attend (any excuse to get away from my computer, right?). As they do every morning for Elephant Rush, the keepers had all of the elephants in the upper yard while Emanti’s name was painted in large letters on the rock outcropping in the main exhibit and then covered over with large pieces of leafy browse to hide the name. The plan: release May Baby, mother Umoya, and big sister Kami into the main exhibit first and see if one of them would pull the browse from the rock and reveal the name. Well, it didn’t quite work that way, but we got a fine show just the same.

Our normal Elephant Rush begins at 11 a.m.; this is when the 15-member herd is given access to the main exhibit, where they dash out and immediately search the entire area to see what goodies and enrichment items the keepers have set out for them that day. Today was different: Umoya, Kami, and Baby were released first. When they realized they were the only elephants in the area, they slowed down, looking puzzled. Kami was so thrown off by this change of routine that she sped back to the upper yard where the rest of the elephants were waiting! Umoya, with Baby following close behind, ignored the tantalizing browse, so after a while the signal was given to allow the herd to join her. Out came a fast-paced parade of six, led by Vus’Musi, our six-year-old, heading straight for the hidden name. (Boy, has he gotten big!) Vus’Musi pulled off some of the browse and Samba grabbed some more, but still the name was hidden. Yikes!

And then along came Umoya. She pushed the others out of the way and in one magnificent tug, revealed the name EMANTI and collected her reward. I don’t think it could have been choreographed any better!

It was fun to watch various elephants as they explored the exhibit. Keepers used a large slingshot to launch a favorite snack, alfalfa-based pellets, into the yard. The Park’s Tanzanian acrobats gave a brief performance. A few elephants came up to the pool, which is located right in front of the Elephant Viewing Patio, but instead of going in, they filled their trunks with water from puddles at the pool’s edge. I could tell little Emanti wanted to take a dip; after all, his name does mean “water” in Siswati, the language of Swaziland. He was wobbly going down the steps toward the water, but that just made him even more endearing! Yet Mom wasn’t as interested, so he reluctantly followed, trotting on unsteady little calf legs back up the slight incline. Soon, Lungile, Kami, and Mabu went into the pool for a wonderful soaking session. I learned that Lungile has been in heat the last three days, and Mabu has been following her everywhere and breeding her whenever possible. In 22 more months, we could have another baby to name!

Thanks to all who submitted name suggestions (we received more than 1,000) and to all who voted (more than 2,500 votes cast) in our four-day online poll. The name Emanti earned 53 percent of the vote, and I think it’s the perfect moniker.

Debbie Andreen is a blog moderator for the San Diego Zoo.

Watch video of the name unveiling!

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128 Responses to “Elephant Calf Has a Name!”

  1. DJ in KC says:

    They are so precious…did you get a video?

    Moderator’s note: Yes, indeed! The video is now posted.

  2. faith says:

    I voted for that name! Congrats to whoever entered that name 😀 So cute!!

  3. Miss Pat says:

    What a wonderful thing to see, your logs make it like we are there and watching everything that is going on just like we are really there, and we thank you for that. When the three of them out first and Kami knew that something was not
    right WELL !!!!. haha she said I don’t think, elephants are so smart as she just showed us.

    Thank you so much for everything that you all do for us on our computer’s.

    Moderator’s note: You are very welcome, Miss Pat!

  4. Jeannette says:

    I am excited that the darling May baby was named Emanti this morning. I missed the Rush today but his is the name I voted for. Long live our happy baby.

  5. Shirley Sykes says:

    A lovely blog, Debbie. Thank you! I wish I could have been there with you watching the expectancy and fun. Emanti is a beautiful calf, and he is so lucky to have an older sister to watch over and baby-sit him.

    Moderator’s note: I’m sorry you missed it, Shirley. It was fun!

  6. Michellephant says:

    I would love to see a video of it. I watched on cam, but would like to see it again.

  7. cindy in kc says:

    Oh how Sweet!! 🙂

  8. kimmi says:

    What a great day. We will have to are finger’s crossed for the next baby. Sounds like everyone had fun time. Emanti seem like he is taking to his name. Look forward to seeing more of him on the cam.

  9. Don Stillwell says:

    I put my comments under “What name will you choose?” when I got back from the Wild Animal Park about 2:30 p.m. I thought it was Moose who got the first tug of the browse and you said it was. When Moya got her good hold and threw it backwards the whole length of her body, it was spectacular. Thanks for the picture at the beginning of your blog. Your blog is so interestingly written and adds the information about Lungile’s status that I was curious about. I’m sorry, however, I have been coming to the Wild Animal Park for 25 years and no matter what you try to call it, it will always be the Wild Animal Park.

    Moderator’s note: That’s okay, Don, as long as you keep coming! Was that you at the Elephant Overlook yesterday?

  10. Gracie says:

    I am happy that the name I voted for has been chosen! It was a pleasant surprise to see the elephants reveal the name hidden behind the browse. It was also interesting to see how the elephants, one after another, approached the big, blue letters with curiosity!

  11. kathe says:

    I saw EMANTi swim with his mother yesterday and it was the cutest thing I have ever seen. It left a happy place in my heart.

  12. charlene loy says:

    I just love that little one. he is the cutest thing in the world. I am very thankful that we can watch the animals on the cames. thank san diego zoo and all the people who work there

  13. Kim says:

    What a wonderful name little Emanti. I hope you will be blessed with a long and wonderful life. You are loved and soooooo adored by many ♥♥♥ Thank you Umoya for such a cutie pie

  14. Michelle in Buffalo NY says:

    It was soooo cute the way his name was revealed! It was cute too when the ele’s came up to the name and would feel the letters with their trunk.

  15. Jan in Richmond, VA says:

    Did anyone else notice that at least one of the elephants seemed to be tracing the E and the M with the tip of their trunk? I guess it looked like a possible treat.

  16. Vonna - North Carolina says:

    Oh, geeze, lost track of the date and missed the ‘unveiling’ but the video I just watched was really great. Emanti was my choice, too.
    Sorry I missed them checking out the letters but it doesn’t at all surprise me that they would.
    Love the blogs…..thank you Debbie for a fun narration. Just wish I wasn’t on the other side of the country and could come see them in person!

    Moderator’s note: Maybe some day you’ll be able to visit our elephants!

  17. Don Stillwell says:

    Re 9, yes I was there trying to get video of the event. Question: With 6 females, 3 just having had babies, and Lungile being, delicately, courted, and Samba due in January 2011, this leaves Umngani who had Ingadze on Friday the 13th of March, 2009, about 2 1/2 years after Khosi was born on 9-11-2006. Add 2 1/2 years from 3-13-2009 and you get September-October 2011. Is it possible she has a cake in the oven and could be the first mom with 3 offspring next year?

    Moderator’s note: I suppose it’s possible.

  18. Karen of Chandler says:

    I am so happy it is Emanti. What a wonderful name.

  19. Donalli says:

    Emanti is a good name. What does that name mean? In the contest my family and i entered like 5 times or more!

    Moderator’s note: It means “water.”

  20. Mike says:

    That’s great! Congratulations! I hope that everyone has a great weekend!

  21. Dianna from Ohio says:

    Debbie: How lucky you were to be there! I voted for that name!! yeah!! It was such a treat to see the baby ellies on my visit… head butting each other and the way they just flop over when they want to lay down. There was alot of playing in the mud pit too… I can’t believe how the temperature flucuates from SDZ to WAP to Yosemite to San Francisco!! I’m ready to pack up and move to SD!! But I want Kay’s job or yours!!! 🙂

    Moderator’s note: Yes, those little guys a such fun to watch!

  22. Susan says:

    Who is asleep at the helm here?????? The elephants were all in the water and it wasn’t a close up shot like it should have been! it was a random group shot~~~~FAR away! Disappointed by this.

    Moderator’s note: We don’t have any volunteers manning the Cams in the evening.

  23. Wayne says:

    Its 4:30 pm EST and one of the little ones is having the time of his life in the pool. He is swimming and diving under and just having a blast.

  24. Laura says:

    Emanti is soooo cute! Has anyone else seen him rear up on his back legs and come down and ‘boing!’ go up again a few times – boing, boing, boing? Our little ‘squirt’ is the cutest baby EVER!

  25. Don Stillwell says:

    For anyone who missed the unveiling of Emanti’s name, click on “Watch video of the morning” written in red between the blog and the first comment. It is very interesting and gives a very accurate account of the trials and errors experienced during the process. Curtis Lehman narrates. I sure hope they keep it available for people to see for a long time. Try it, you’ll like it! Emanti, meaning water, is the name given to Moya’s calf born on May 12, 2010, for anyone who hasn’t been around for the whole naming process.

  26. cindy in kc says:

    12:40 pdt– why are all the ellie’s in the upper yard and trying to splash in a teeny tiny

    mud puddle?- 🙁

  27. Julia says:

    Elephants are adorable! babys and more! I see through the camera live from Montevideo Uruguay

    I like them as babys play with each other and when they are in the water

    And I see the dedication of the staff of the zoo to them!

    Regards

  28. Allie says:

    How do you become a volunteer to man the camera???? I’d love to spend some time taking shots of the group ….. the pool parties are the best …..o.k. the mud parties are great also ….. 🙂

    Moderator’s note: Visit the Volunteer section of our Web site for various opportunities like manning the Cams.

  29. Morgan says:

    When do you plan to have some of the herd introduced to Msholo?

    Moderator’s note: Once a corridor is built between the two areas, we can introduce Msholo to some of the other elephants.

  30. Susan says:

    Somebody’s asleep at the helm here. Since 5PM today the cam has not moved. No elephants showing…..Just the gate and the dried up mudhole. I REALLY look forward to watching the elephants when I get home from work!

  31. Jo Ann in Texas says:

    9/2 at 5pm CST………One of the elephants is limping. What happened?

  32. Jo Benson says:

    About 3 weeks ago one of the elephants seem to have a front foot that was tender. She seems to have been standing on her toe and not putting her foot down when standing still. Today I see her limping. Hope she is alright.

    Animal Care Staff respond: Six-year-old Vus’musi is a very active young male. He has previously injured his left leg in a bout of roughousing with another calf, walking around with a limp for a few days before recovering. He first injured it a few years ago when playing rough with Lungile or running away from one of the other elephants. This time he appears to have injured his ankle while again playing rough with Lungile, his favorite wrestling partner. If he continues to walk gingerly on it, the veterinary team will take a closer look; until then, we’re keeping a watchful eye on the big kid.

  33. Jo Benson says:

    Thank you for the update on Vus’musi. I am new to the elephant cam and can not tell the elephants apart yet. Sorry Vus’musi that I called you a she. It puts much joy in my heart everyday watching the elephants and polar bears.

    Thank you Animal Care Staff for sharing with us

  34. Vickie says:

    I was at the Animal Park last week and a keeper said the money had just come through for the corrider between the two elephant enclosures. So hopefully it wont be too long before it’s built.

  35. Donna says:

    How long before the veterinary staff wil know if Lungile is pregnant or not?

    Moderator’s note: About a year!

  36. Margaret in VA says:

    Debbie, I am curious why the name change for the WAP after 25 years?

    Moderator’s note: We have an FAQ on the name change that can answer your question.

  37. Margaret in VA says:

    Thanks. I read it after I sent my note. It is a Safari ride for real when you take the tram around the field exhibits.

  38. Sandy S says:

    thanks volunteer staff for doing a superb job on the cameras today. I really appreciate the wonderful close ups including play time in the pool.

  39. Jo Ann in Texas says:

    9/6 at 8:26pm Thanks to the camera volunteers! Just watched the elephants playing in the “pond.” What fun! Sure wish there was sound too. I laughed at the very determined older elephant who seemed to want to get the round disc thing (?) out of the water, but just couldn’t figure out how to do it. Thanks again camera folk!

  40. Lynn From Alberta says:

    I didn’t know where else to post this comment so I truly hope that my SINCERE APPRECIATION for the WEBCAM OPERATORS today, Monday, 6 Sept is passed on to them !!! … I was fortunate enough to be able to watch the ellies all day and ALL DAY the operators followed the actions of the ellies VERY closely and up close, too! I especially enjoyed being able to watch the ‘teens’ wrestling and interacting in the pool but also in the pen and along the walls and, well, just about everywhere in the exhibit!!! And of course special attention was given to the babies and watching them, even on their own, was a joy to behold.

    As always, my many thanks to the entire SDZ for your diligent and caring efforts, but the WEBCAM OPERATORS today on the ellie exhibit … well, they outdid themselves!!!

    Thank you.

  41. Lynn From Alberta says:

    I have a question as well: where do I find out information about the elephant that is on his own in the yard across from the Afrians? Thanks, mod.

    Moderator’s note: See Welcome, Elephant Msholo. There is also info about him (and all the others) on our Meet the Elephants page.

  42. Michelle in Buffalo NY says:

    I noticed one of the ele’s was having his/her foot examined before going out for the rush today, after reading the posts I assume it was ‘Musi. Whoever it was held it nice and still for the keeper to feel it. It was really neat to be able to see this. I’m wondering if someone could make a video clip of one of the ele’s going thru different training maneuvers. It would be very cool to see this.

  43. Leanne says:

    Has Lungile’s previous uterine infection affected her chances of becoming pregnant and becoming a mother?

    Moderator’s note: We believe she can have a successful pregnancy.

  44. Dana says:

    Are there any updates on Tina and Jewel?

    Moderator’s note: We’ve requested one from their keeper.

  45. Don Stillwell says:

    Has Elephant Rush ended? First 30 minutes or so we have had what appears to be indecision and then elephant slow release and liesurely walk. Perhaps Labor Day has affected the routine. Be interesting to get an update to indicate what is to happen in the future. Thanks.

    Moderator’s note: Elephant Rush has been extended. The time for the rush may change starting next week. The Elephant Cam page will be updated to reflect any changes.

  46. Dianna from Ohio says:

    When the yard is connected, how will Msholo get his own herd? Will some of the female elephants move to be with him? I was reading the earlier blog that the Moderator had posted… How is his training coming along? Is he becoming more relaxed and now enjoys scratches from the keepers?

    I was also wondering how Swazi became Head Female if she spooks easily (I was reading “Meet the elephants”).. I would think that Moya would have been the Head Female instead of Second In Command…. Thanks!!

    Moderator’s note: I’ll see if we can get a new post about Msholo.

  47. Susan B says:

    Is everything OK at Elephant Rush? The gate didn’t open until about 11:30 this AM and only a few elephants came out. One outside the gate was acting real frisky with another behind the gate. Now there are NO elephants out there….Or the camera has been stopped. Thanks! I LOVE this cam!!!!!

  48. Don Stillwell says:

    Here’s a plus for cam watchers. It is 6:30 p.m. and there are at least 6 elephants in the pool. By leaving the cam to include the pool and the structure at the far end of the field, this sort of opportunity is being shared with your ardent elephant fans. Thanks!

  49. cindy in kc says:

    Is Emanti’s name off the little rock hut or am I missing it somehow? Is that a house for someone to live in?

    Moderator’s note: Yes, the name is gone. The rock structure kind of looks like a house, but it provides shade and a place where keepers can hang food items for the elephants to enjoy.

  50. Donna says:

    I noticed around 7 p.m. PST last night that the elephants seemed to be alarmed and were running about the yard in a large group for the most part. Was there something going on that upset them to cause them to act this way?

  51. josh says:

    tomorrow is Khosi’s 4th birthday! Are you doing anything special for her? Did Ingadze get anything special this year on his first birthday?

  52. Michelle in Buffalo NY says:

    Is the rush ended now?

    Moderator’s note: It is still offered daily at 11 a.m. Starting September 13, Rush will begin at 11:45 a.m.

  53. Don Stillwell says:

    Happy 4th birthday, Khosi! I’ve been there for each of your first 3 birthdays and I won’t miss this one, either. Party or not, this is a milestone in your life! First baby girl born at the Wild Animal Park. Wish you at least another 50 years of birthdays! Perhaps when you get older, you can follow your mother’s (Umngani) lead and have another baby girl for the Wild Animal Park!

  54. BonnieOH says:

    I sometimes check the elephant cam between 9 and 10 OH time, when the sun is just coming up in CA. The veiw is beautiful early in the morning there! I enjoy watching the ellies play and wrestle.

  55. Don Stillwell says:

    Beautiful camera placement for evening and early morning viewing. There have been a couple of elephants in the pool. With closing time now at 5 p.m., this has been a beautiful way to extend the visit I took to the park today (and I guarantee I will be checking it out again in the morning about 6:30 to 7:00 a.m.). That was a muddy bunch of ellies today!

  56. Don Stillwell says:

    Wow! First Moose was wrestling with a smaller calf, then a mom brought her baby into the pool and now Mabu has sauntered into the pool!

  57. Don Stillwell says:

    http://www.sandiegozoo.org/elephantcam is the website for the cam and I gave it to 10 people while I was at the park today. Wonder if any of them are watching the pool party now?

  58. Don Stillwell says:

    It’s been a couple of weeks since Emanti (Moya’s calf) was officially given his name. There was a video made of the event that was so beautifully done (narrated by Curtis Lehman) that some viewers may be overlooking and this is to remind everyone to watch it. Between the blog portion and the first comment of this blog, there is “Watch video of the morning” written in red letters. Click on the red letters and watch and listen. Note as Moya actually pulls off the large piece of browse to reveal EMANTI in large letters!

  59. Susan B says:

    I just had the most DELIGHTFUL hour watching all the elephants in the pool!!!!!! What a SUPERB job you do capturing their antics!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!! I also noticed two elephants getting~~~~ ahem….amorous??? Or is that just normal play…Entwining trunks and such……..I am SUCH an elephantaholic!!!!!!

  60. cindy in kc says:

    Ellie’s in the fog at 7:40 pdt! How cool!!! 🙂

  61. Donna says:

    the new time for the elephant rush hasn’t been updated on the cam page..

    Moderator’s note: The new time has now been updated (except for the little graphic on the side, which will be updated later).

  62. cindy in kc says:

    must be hot in Cali today— Serious ellie ear flappin goin on! 🙂

  63. Julia says:

    Today 14 September in the evening I really enjoyed seeing the baby elephants playing, are adorable …. and every day I see one move from side to side through a trunk, it’s fun 😀

  64. deb says:

    Dear Elephant Team,

    I was wondering if you could assist me. Today in Pics of the Day in the Telegraph there is an elephant standing on his hind legs reaching for a branch. There are two bulges protruding from his sides. I have seen Msholo stand in a similar manner several times however I have never noticed any bulges. What are these? I figured they were some type of muscle, but I have never seen anything like that before.
    Thank you.

    telegraph (dot) co (dot) uk/news/picturegalleries/picturesoftheday/8006052/Pictures-of-the-day-16-September-2010.html

    Moderator’s note: Your question has been forwarded to our Elephant Team.

  65. Donna says:

    I see that there is work being done Msholo’s area. could this possibly for the corridor to allow the females to get to know him?

    Moderator’s note: Construction has begun!

  66. Elizabeth says:

    Re: 64. Deb – those bulges are really weird!

  67. Donna says:

    I have noticed that Swazi and Simba (hers being larger) have sac likeareas under their bellies, what are these?

    Moderator’s note: Do you mean their nipples?

  68. Don Stillwell says:

    Re: 67. I think she is probably referring to the area that has occurred for each female elephant that had a boy baby as their first baby, which includes Dula, Samba, and Swazi.

  69. Donna says:

    No, further back, closer to their perineal area, there seems to be a somewhat saggy area below the natural line of the bellies. Semba’s is larger in size to what Swazi’s is.

    Moderator’s note: I’ll forward your question to our Elephant Team.

  70. Elizabeth says:

    That’s the area that Don refers to and Semba’s seems to have gotten larger lately.

  71. Don Stillwell says:

    Re: 67 and 69. That is exactly the area I am referring to, in the rear area furthest from the breasts.

  72. Don Stillwell says:

    Umngani and Moya do NOT have this saggy area because they had baby girls first. They each have had a baby boy since but it did not cause any sag.

  73. Donna says:

    I have read elsewhere that it may be a build up fluid that some elephants get and is treated by medication but takes a very long time usually to rectify. Which is why I asked the question, in hopes it wasn’t that condition.

  74. cindy in kc says:

    in the upper yard right now seeing about 4 adults and 3 babies all trying to take a mud bath in the tiny puddle.. perhaps they should get a bigger wallow for them all? Ideas?

  75. George Middlton says:

    I think what you are refering to is and edema. Was at the park yesterday and the kids where have a geat time in the mud blog, as they are today. The contractor was have fun working on the new passover.

  76. Elephant Team says:

    #67 to#73

    What you are seeing is a fairly normal postpartum ventral edema, also seen in Africa. There is still debate about what causes it, but it’s usually not an issue.

  77. Allie says:

    6/17/10 – One of the babies was having the greatest time ever in the mudhole. Running in and out, chasing the other babies …. really being a little rascal. Are they making noise while they are doing this? You could just feel his joy in getting muddy. I wish you could add speakers to this area.

    Went to the Zoo 6/18 and enjoyed the next reptile area. Lots to do with the Zoo staff explaining the happenings around the Zoo.

    Have a fabulous day everyone ……I truly enjoy the show!!!! 🙂

  78. cindy in kc says:

    3:00 pdt– why are some of the ellie’s penned up separately from the others in the upper yard?

    Moderator’s note: The keepers separate groups during training sessions.

  79. Kristi :) says:

    Hey!!! I voted for Emanti!!! Aww… they’re so cute!!! i <3 elefants! & i <3 water too!! 🙂 L8r!!!

    Peeeeeace tooooo thee wooooooooooorld!!! 😉

    Learn, Love, Live!

  80. Kristi!!! :-) says:

    How can we save wild elephants everyday?! 🙁 poor elephants :'(

    Moderator’s note: Kristi, you can help Africa’s elephants by joining the San Diego Zoo’s Global Action Team! We have a project to help Africa’s wild elephant population and you can be a part of it. Please join us!

  81. Donna says:

    Any time line to when the corridor will be finished and where exactly will it be within Msholo’s area?

    Also where is Msholo during construction?

    Elephant Team responds: The project will take two to three months to complete and will create a link near the pool on the herd side. Construction will mostly be through Msholo’s side, so he is in the holding yards and barn during construction. We are going through great lengths to make sure that he is well cared for and entertained during this period. And big surprises await him afterward!

  82. Marie says:

    When I checked the webcam last evening, I was thrilled to see 2 of the baby ellies playing! It’s the first time I catch any of them playing. What a treat! One of the older siblings stood nearby “supervising.” They are adorable! 🙂

  83. cindy in kc says:

    it’s 11:38 pdt– the Ellie’s are very restless in the upper yard. I see head swaying, rocking and a lot of trunk swinging going on! They want out! 🙂

    Moderator’s note: They must have been ready for the happy time: Elephant Rush!

  84. rita says:

    Thank you camera person for letting us see one of the three muskateers work up the nerve to chase a deer. LOL!

  85. Mark says:

    BTW, after the yards are connected all the elephants will have at least fence-line access to each other, right? I don’t want keeping the bulls separate to also keep Mabhulane separate from any of his kids!

    “We are going through great lengths to make sure that he is well cared for and entertained during this period.”

    I’d like to see a blog post about the enrichment Msholo gets during this awkward time.

    “And big surprises await him afterward!”

    Those will be surprises to blog readers too, I bet.

  86. Don Stillwell says:

    Looks like a good pool party is getting underway. There appears to be about 6 in the pool right now including one of the 3 littlest ones!

  87. cindy in kc says:

    what are the ‘tree limb’ like branches in the yard they all seem to ‘rush’ out for?

    Moderator’s note: Those are branches of leafy browse for the elephants to enjoy.

  88. Karen of Chandler says:

    I am watching the elephant cam at 2pm and there is an elephant laying down and all the other elephants are around him. Is this elephant not feeling well?

  89. Karen of Chandler says:

    The elephant is standing again. Will this elephant be checked out to make sure he or she is all right? It also shows how all the elephants really care about each other.

    Moderator’s note: If keepers have cause for concern, they will certainly summon one of our veterinarians.

  90. Yoko says:

    I always wonder if elephants know their names. For example, does Kami know her name is Phakamile or Kami? Do the keepers call elephants by names? What do they do when they call elephants?

    Moderator’s note: The elephants respond to their names, and the keepers call her Kami, as that’s so much easier to say 😉

  91. Donna says:

    I too noticed later yesterday Mabu I believe it was, laying down for a short period. I have read that elephants will sometimes lay down to nap but only for short periods. Mainly due to the pressure it puts on their bodies to do so. and the fact elephants sleep so little. I hope this was reason for the laying down.

  92. Marie says:

    I was waiting for the elephant rush to start and noticed that 2 of the ellies were let out the side before the gate opened for the rest. I was impressed that those 2 stayed at the gate, and waited for the others to be let out before they rushed out for their treats. It reminded me of how you should wait until everyone is seated at the table before you start to eat. How polite and mannerly. 🙂

  93. deb says:

    There was a pic of Sumithi today in San Francisco Chronicle, Day in Pictures. The following was with the photo. Way to go Sumithi! I might do it for a bag of Doritos.

    Since she started her daily walks at the San Diego Zoo, Sumithi has dropped 1,000 pounds of ugly elephant avoirdupois. At first, keeper Scott Morford could only get her to take 10-minute strolls, but by using treats like raisins and cucumbers for motivation, he now has her walking up to an hour a day.

    Moderator’s note: Here’s video of Sumithi and one of her keepers on a daily walk.

  94. clm1950 says:

    May we have a new update on Tina & Jewel please?

  95. Shirley says:

    What’s the pale green grainy substance on the ground that the elephants are enthusiastically eating?

  96. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi! I know I haven’t written on the elephant comment page in awhile. Been busy keeping up with the pandas, the pandacams, Lun Lun’s possible pregnancy, and new baby cams on the NZ animal cams. I was also wondering when there will be another update about Jewel and Tina myself. Plus, is there any new word or updates about Queenie’s situation in Texas? And, I am wanting to know about the one remaining pregnant elephant that’s due at around the first of the year in 2011 and how she’s been doing lately. Been watching the ellie cam off an on, and just love watching the calves have their play times with each other and their moms, swimming in that big pool, and just acting like kids everyday.
    Are you all going to keep the daily elephant rush going longer than September? That’s been a fun one to watch on the elliecam especially the little calves that try to beat out the big, huge adults to the treat piles!
    Well, Su Lin and Zhen Zhen are on their way to China. They should be there right about now. Hoping for an update from one of the SDZ people that went with them to tell us how the 2 panda girls handled the long flight. Gonna miss seeing them on the pandacams!
    Gonna go for now. Will be back later on.
    Chari Mercier 🙂
    St. Pete, FL

    Moderator’s note: A modified version of Elephant Rush continues, starting at 11:45 a.m.

  97. donna a says:

    With all these baby bulls being born, my concern is when they become adolescents and are not welcome in the family any longer…..what are you going to do with them? Will they go to another zoo or will it be the circus?

    Moderator’s note: We are working to connect our two large elephant yards to help manage our growing family.

  98. Park Elephant Team says:

    #95 Shirley

    Sugar cane!

  99. Vickie says:

    I would hope someone from the zoo would tell (#97 donna a) that the elephants would never be sent to a circus. Maybe someone could elaborate how connecting the yard will manage the herd? Theres are still going to be too many males.

    Moderator’s note: You’re right: we do not send any of our animals to circuses.

  100. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi! Thanks for the update about the Elephant Rush! Will try to get on the elliecam to watch them on some days during the week. Just watched the elliecam a few minutes ago, and just enjoyed watching these calves having some fun in and around that muddy water hole! In fact, there were calves and adults around that muddy water hole! Saw one of the slightly older calves quietly standing with her hind legs crossed. Then one of the younger ellie calves decided to get into the mud water, lay down in there, and use his trunk to splash the water around! All of the other ellies were just standing around relaxing letting the calves have their day in the mud!
    Still would like to know how the last momma ellie that is pregnant is doing lately. Any idea of about when her due date is in 2011?
    Gonna go and check the elliecam again to see what the kids are doing. Will be back later on.
    Chari Mercier 🙂
    St. Pete, FL

    Moderator’s note: Litsemba is expecting her second calf in January 2011.

  101. cindy in KC says:

    they are gathered right now in the upper yard all around a ‘dry mud hole’. perhaps they need a bigger walllow one day?

  102. Marie says:

    Moderator: RE: #93 – The link is not working. All I get is a blank green page. Thanks!

    Moderator’s note: Hmm. It’s just a link to our video page: http://www.sandiegozoo.org/videos/index.html

  103. cindy in KC says:

    looking at a mud slinging good time, Especially Emanti! He is covered!! 🙂

  104. Donna says:

    What types of hay do the elephants get to eat?

    Moderator’s note: They eat alfalfa and Sudan hay.

  105. Michelle in Buffalo NY says:

    Just curious, maybe the moderator or one of the bloggers knows-who is the ele. with the rather wide nose/nostril area and very short stubby tusks? It’s one of the bigger ele’s I think. Maybe Musi?

  106. Marie says:

    Thanks Moderator. It works on my work computer. My computer at home has been acting funny.

    Since I haven’t been watching the ellies all that much, I’m a little lost as to some of the info I’ve read. The herd of 15 that we see on the cam, those are the African ellies, right? The one taking the walk with the keeper is an Asian ellie (from the comment below the video). Who are Tina and Jewel? Where do the Asian ellies live? Are they all the elephant odessy, just somewhere else? How many are there? Thanks!

    Moderator’s note: It does get confusing! We have 16 African elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park; we have 8 Asian elephants and 1 African elephant at the San Diego Zoo’s Elephant Odyssey exhibit. The elephant featured in the walking video is Sumitha, one of the Asian elephants at the Zoo. Tina and Jewel are Asian elephants living at the Zoo. We have a series of blog posts about them, as they came to us from a difficult situation in August 2009. The first blog post about them is New Elephants: Jewel and Tina and the most recent one is Elephant Odyssey: One Year. I hope this helps!

  107. Marie says:

    Thanks! I’ll read the blogs when I get a chance. Can African and Asian ellies not be “housed” together?

  108. Donna says:

    At what rate do the elephants’ tusks grow? I have noticed on Swazi and Moya that one tusk is a bit longer than the other one.

  109. Elizabeth says:

    Re:105 Mabu has a big head – short tusks. Size and shape of tusks seems to vary to the individual elephant with no relation to age or sex.

  110. Laura says:

    The elecam feed hasn’t worked for me for two days. I just get a circle spinning around and resolving to “No video content available.” Other flash content (ie, Polar cam) is working fine.

    Moderator: can you check on this, please? Thanks! (can’t… live…without..ele…cam…!)

    Moderator’s note: Our apologies. We’ve notified our Cam provider.

  111. Michelle in Buffalo NY says:

    Elizabeth – thank you, but I looked at the pics under meet the elephants and Mabu’s tusks are longer than the ele I was describing. I think maybe, re-looking at the pics again just now, it was Umoya. I try very hard to figure out who is who when I watch the cam! 🙂

  112. Donna says:

    Re: #111- Michelle(NY)- I’ve found a way to distinguish each elephant though not alway successful, perhaps it will help you. Mabu is the biggest and has the longest full tail. Swazi’s tusks- right a bit longer than left and has some what of a split tail, also the slightest ventral edema under her tummy.. Moya left tusk is longer and full tail. Semba has a full tail and largest ventral edema sace under her tummy of all the femalres. Umngani has the longest tusks. Dula crooked right tusk under her trunk and half tail. Lungile I have a hard time disguishing too except if standing so you can see the slight v cuts on the edge of her left ear. Musi has evenly growing tusks and almost as tall as his mom Dula. Kami and Khosi are a bit hard to tell apart except when they are with their moms. Punga is larger than Ingadze who is usually with his mom. I hope this helps.

  113. Don Stillwell says:

    Re: 105. I believe the elephant you are referring to is Moose, born February 23, 2004. At the top of this blog, before the comments there is a “Watch video of the morning”. If you click on that you will see the unveiling of Emanti’s name. There were a couple of starts but when all the elephants were let out at the same time, the first elephant to reach the name area was Moose who pulled off enough browse to show the i of Emanti. He is 6 1/2 years old so quite a lot larger than 4 year old Khosi, 3 1/2 year old Punga and 3 year old Kami. You suggested Musi (who I refer to as Moose) and I think you know your elephants as well as anybody!

  114. Denise Dillon says:

    Denise D in Toronto, ON

    Thanks so much for getting the webcam up and running – I was really missing watching these magnificant creatures. Great job to those who operate the web cam – your hard work is greatly appreciated!

  115. Laura says:

    Yes, thank you for fixing the cam!

  116. Carlin says:

    The cam today (Monday, the 4th) is great. Please thank the volunteer for zooming in and giving us the chance to see the elephants up close!

    Moderator’s note: Will do!

  117. Chari Mercier says:

    Hi! At around 6:45pm EDT, I got on the elliecam and saw a few ellies just outside the corral wondering why there were a bunch of people inside the corral talking along with some of the ellie keepers doing some cleanup in there. I’m wondering about the little group of people in there myself and what they were talking about; had to be about ellies, tho. Plus, it was WET out there! San Diego got their first rain since around May today, and I know that the ellies just loved getting wet from that rain. Also, watched 2 of the smaller calves playing and chasing each other.

    Well, gonna go back to the elliecam and see what’s going on. Will check back later!

    Chari Mercier 🙂

    St. Pete, FL

  118. Allie says:

    For the last 20 minutes watched the kids rolling around in the mudhole. Loved the interaction between them. When they are small they really like the physical contact, especially the wrestling matches. I didn’t realize that until I started watching them on a regular basis. Love the camara work. Have a great day. Allie

  119. Roxy says:

    Ellie up—Ellie down—Ellie up—Ellie down—Ellie up
    Been watching them for over a year and have never seen a large Elie go down in the field. Is something wrong?

    Moderator’s note: All is well.

  120. Donna says:

    Have the elephants been weighed since July and if so what is their current weights?

    Moderator’s note: Your request has been forwarded.

  121. San Diego Zoo says:

    #107 Marie

    Thank you for your interest in elephants. Non-breeding Asian and African elephants have been housed together by accredited zoos for many years. In order to maintain species and ensure the health of offspring, breeding populations are not maintained together.

  122. Vickie says:

    The last few months several web watchers have reported elephant behavior they haven’t seen before (adult elephants laying down). Since it seems to be unusual could one of the keepers perhaps explain this behavior? I know contrary to popular belief elephants do lay down to sleep at times, but this does seem unusual. Thanks

    Moderator’s note: Your question has been forwarded to our Elephant Team.

  123. Don Stillwell says:

    Re #119 Roxy. Back on June 17, 2009, Emily Rothwell wrote a blog called Sleeping Giants which shows a picture of Swazi taking a nap. It is very informative and shows that elephants lay down a great deal, especially at night. On occasion, when visiting the park I have seen several of the elephants lay down, including Mabu. Hope you check this out, Roxy, and anyone else that has wondered about the sleeping habits of the African elephant.

  124. Roxy says:

    Hi Don

    Thanks for your reply. Having been a rancher most of my life I become concerned when I see an animal lay down and then get up only to lay back down and repeat this behavior for about 15 min. right after they came out of the pen, not in the evening. I don’t spend all day watching the ellies but have never seen an adult lay down in the field. I know about cows, horses, pigs, sheep, dogs, and cats, ellies not so much but have found that a lot of behavior is universal. I have also seen where some of them walk like they have sore shoulders but think it must be the uneven ground. Maybe more of a traction thing. I am sure they get the best of care. I do love to watch the social structure of animals. Thanks again Don.

  125. Josh says:

    1. So Samba is due to give birth in January 2011. That will make the elephant population 17! There’s also no doubt that Mabu is the father.

    2. I know that male elephants don’t help rear any offspring, but Mabu has to be the best elephant dad in the world. I’d give him an award for #1 elephant dad! Which calf is his favorite, or, if he doesn’t have a favorite, which calf spends the most time with him? How is he such a great father?

  126. Susie Braden says:

    It is great to see and read how well Tina and Jewel are doing, they came from a very abusive situation and it’s a blessing they have a home at the San Diego Zoo.

  127. Elizabeth says:

    Lungile and Moose seem to have one weird relationship.

  128. east coast marie says:

    to donna 97: Like you, I worry about so many of these precious babies being male (especially since they all have Mabu’s genes except for Moosie, so not a lot of genetic diversity). Here in North Carolina, we have a big african elephant preserve in the Ashboro Zoo, and it has so much space we never have seen the elephants when we go there, except a possible glimpse through binoculars (a bummer as my kids say). I hope the SDZ and SP consider sending some of their offspring to us, of course when they are truly ready. I hate to think that they would miss their families as I wonder how solitary they really are when they come of age. But I have faith in the ability of the SDZ to do what’s best for their elephants.