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Arizona’s first baby elephant, born in Tucson, receives name

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Monday, Sept. 29, 2014

By Megan Guthrie


ANALISE ORTIZ/CRONKITE NEWS: It’s an Arizona first. Reporter Megan Guthrie takes us to Tucson for a big celebration for a very big baby.

MEGAN GUTHRIE/CRONKITE NEWS: Last week a baby elephant made her public debut here at the Reid Park Zoo, and starting today, the park is finally unveiling her new name. Music plays, cameras flash and crowds gather as a new and rather large star makes her debut.

DAYSHA/REID PARK ZOO VISITOR: The new baby elephant is out. It’s her one-month-old birthday, so everybody’s celebrating it. So if you come here, I hope you have a good time!

MEGAN GUTHRIE/CRONKITE NEWS: Anticipation is high to see a glimpse of the first baby elephant born in Arizona.

BRITTANY CALDWELL/EDUCATION ASSISTANT, REID PARK ZOO: She is a little bit of a celebrity. She’s 343 pounds of celebrity as of this morning, and she’s doing very very well. We are very excited.

MEGAN GUTHRIE/CRONKITE NEWS: Reid Park is the first zoo in Arizona to establish an elephant breeding herd. Zoo Director of Education Vivian Vanpeenen says she hopes the excitement will increase awareness.

VIVIAN VANPEENEN/DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION, REID PARK ZOO: This isn’t just about Reid Park Zoo or even the state of Arizona. This is a national effort we work with our collegues all around the country, our partners in San Diego other accredited zoos all around the country to really look at what’s best for elephants not only in the United States, but in the wild as well.

MEGAN GUTHRIE/CRONKITE NEWS: The public had about a week to vote on her name. The choices? “Invoola,” meaning rain in siSwati or “Nandi,” which means sweet.

DAYSHA/REID PARK ZOO VISITOR: I would name her Dumbo.

MEGAN GUTHRIE/CRONKITE NEWS: Despite some debate, today the name is announced. The winner? Nandi. And while excitement continues over the calf, Nandi is exploring her new surroundings in front of her adoring public. In Tucson, Megan Guthrie, Cronkite News