An Indiana Zoo welcomed a new addition to its menagerie recently, and it's giving you the chance to decide what its name will be. However, will that decision come back to haunt them?

Indianapolis Zoo Welcomes New Baby Elephant

The new addition, a male baby African elephant, was born at the Indianapolis Zoo on Labor Day evening and weighed in at a whopping 262 pounds which zoo officials said is a healthy weight for a newborn elephant calf, and was standing roughly 10 minutes after it was born. According to the zoo, the calf's birth was historic as it is "the first elephant in the world (African or Asian) to be born through artificial insemination to a mother (Zahara) who was also born through the same procedure." It is the seventh calf born at the zoo.

WKDQ-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

22 days after it entered the world, the new calf made its public debut to a chorus of "Awws" and "It's so cute!" from visitors.

Indianapolis Zoo Asking the Public to Name Its New Elephant Calf

Now just over one month old, the calf and his mother are both doing well, and the zoo is giving him everything he needs to thrive. However, there's one thing he doesn't have yet that the zoo is asking you to provide — a name.

Asking the public to help name something hasn't always gone as well as the company or organization making the request has hoped. Back in 2016, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) in Britain gave residents the opportunity to name a new research ship it had recently added that would be used to explore the Arctic. Harmless, right? Why not give the public a chance to be excited about what this ship may discover by letting them have some "ownership" of it? Well, it didn't take long for the internet to make a mockery of the whole thing, and when voting closed, the name "Boaty McBoatface" was the clear winner. However, the final say went to the chief executive of the NERC who ultimately named it after the famous British biologist and broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough.

It wasn't the first, nor the last time a group or company had the seemingly fun and innocent idea of letting the public name an inanimate object blow up in their face. For example, Emily Petsko noted in a 2018 article for Mental Floss that the after-effects of the Boaty story included an owl being named, Hooty McOwlface, and Botty McBotface being suggested for a pipe-inspecting robot in Kansas City.


The good news is, that the Indianapolis Zoo won't have to worry about its new calf being stuck with a name like "Trunky McElephantface." Learning from the mistakes of others, the zoo isn't letting you submit any random name you come up with. Instead, you get to choose from one of the following three predetermined names:

  • Maji
  • Jabari
  • Zambezi

Voting is open now through the Indianapolis Zoo website until Monday, October 16th and the winning name will be announced later that day after the votes are counted. The form does require you to give your first and last name before it allows you to submit your vote however, there is no mention of a prize drawing for voting.

[Source: Indianapolis Zoo on Facebook]

WATCH OUT: These are the deadliest animals in the world

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

Gallery Credit: Elena Kadvany

More From WKDQ-FM