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Zoo News

Zoo News

Dallas Zoo names baby elephant ‘Ajabu’
Jul 19, 2016

The Dallas Zoo has named its two-month-old elephant calf Ajabu (uh-JAH-boo), an African name that means “wonder,” “amazing,” and “extraordinary.”

“It’s a perfect name for this little dynamo,” said Gregg Hudson, the zoo’s CEO and president. “Ever since his birth March 14, he’s awed us with his spirit. He’s definitely a go-getter, full of energy. He explores non-stop, and mom Mlilo is incredibly patient with him.”

The name was announced tonight in a special light show revolving around Reunion Tower, a collaboration by two Dallas icons meant to brighten the city’s spirits.

“Revealing the name of the Dallas Zoo’s newest African elephant calf, Ajabu, with an iconic light show was meant to match the meaning of his name – extraordinary,” explained Reunion Tower General Manager Dusti Groskreutz. “The valuable contributions of the Dallas Zoo to our city, and the world at-large with its message of conservation, continues to make us proud to be partners with such an important and critical institution.”

Zoo and Reunion Tower officials delayed the announcement after the July 7 police shootings, to allow “The Ball” to remain lit in blue to honor our fallen law-enforcement officers.

The zoo’s elephant keepers chose the African name from among several finalist suggestions.
Ajabu was born May 14 to Mlilo (ma-LEE-lo), one of five elephants rescued from drought-stricken Swaziland this spring. He now weighs more than 220 pounds. He isn’t yet on exhibit, remaining in a behind-the-scenes habitat with his mother and others in the Zoo’s 10-elephant herd. No date has been set for his public debut.

The zoo also is “baby-proofing” the second elephant barn and portions of the Giants of the Savanna habitat, which includes waterfalls, ponds and other areas which must be carefully evaluated for the safety of this little fellow.