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Public Picking Name For New Baby Elephant

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Elizabeth Dinh
Elizabeth joined CBS 11 News from Seattle's KOMO-TV in December 2...
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - The newest member of the Fort Worth Zoo is also the youngest and, these days, the most popular. A female baby Asian elephant has been grabbing the attention of kids and adults alike — it seems that nobody is immune to her cuteness.

She probably does not realize it, but the little 330-pound elephant has a lot of admirers. The miniature mammal made her debut at the Fort Worth Zoo just four days after she was born, back on July 7. Visitors arrive early at the zoo and rush to crowd around the elephant exhibit and snap a few photos.

“She’s really tiny and cute,” said visitor Ryley Chambers.

(credit: Fort Worth Zoo)

(credit: Fort Worth Zoo)

Now, the Fort Worth Zoo is asking visitors to help with naming the adorable gal, letting folks vote online and at the zoo. The winning name will be revealed to the public on Thursday. “It’s exciting,” said Fort Worth Zoo member Christine Koepp, who brought her kids and their stuffed elephant toys. “The girls got the postcard in the mail and we said, ‘Well, we’re going. Let’s go down and see the baby and vote for her name.’”

The names currently being considered are Belle, Maggie, Rose, Ruby, Sage and Tujuh.

Zoo officials are thrilled about the big buzz over their big baby, and hope that it will bring more awareness to this endangered species. “Hopefully they can take that away with them,” said Ron Surratt, director of animal collections for the Fort Worth Zoo, “and gives them some thoughts about really kind of managing our environment a little better.”

The birth is also a part of the zoo’s conservation efforts. Life there can be fun but, when the elephant gets older, she will be on a strict diet of grain and hay, and she will have to take a two-mile walk every day. This is just the second baby elephant ever born at the Fort Worth Zoo since it opened more than 100 years ago.

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