Mother elephant chooses newborn's name, Mavi, at Tampa zoo

Aug. 20, 2013 at 5:37 PM

TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The baby elephant born in the Tampa, Fla., Lowry Park Zoo has been named Mavi, a name chosen by the mother herself, zoo officials said Tuesday.

The zoo's elephant care team chose five names in the Swati language for the 3-week-old calf, each beginning with the letter M to honor the mother, Matjeka. An online contest narrowed the choices down to two, Mavi, meaning "voices," and Mngani, meaning "friend," WTSP-TV, St. Petersburg, Fla., reported.

Two nutritional "enrichments" were prepared for the mother, stacks of hay and produce with the two names spelled out in carrots, and Majteka walked over to the one identified as "Mavi" and dug in, the television station said.

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