It’s official. You voted for the name for our new baby African elephant, and overwhelmingly, you wanted is Nyah (pronounced: Nī-ah)! More than 3,500 Facebook fans voted in a week-long poll to name the new elephant, a female born June 28, 2012. Check out this cute video introducing our "little" bundle of joy!
In the end, Nyah, which is Swahili for “purpose,” was the clear choice and received 63 percent of the vote. The second choice, Ebony, received 25 percent of the vote and Moza received 12 percent of the vote. The three name options were chosen by the Zoo keepers in the Plains area.
Nyah is the third calf for Ivory, a 30-year-old African elephant, and was conceived through artificial insemination (AI) with a technique pioneered at the Zoo.
In the weeks since the baby was born, we received hundreds of name suggestions. And now that the choice has been made, we wanted to share a few names that didn’t make the cut.
Many people suggested traditional American names: Annabell; Bella; Blanche; Ella, Ellie, Elouise and other similar variations; LouLou, Lulu and Lula; Minnie; Penelope; Rosie; Stella; and Zoey.
Some people didn’t stop with just a first name: Daisy Marie, Emma Leigh, Marla Gray; and Sue Christian.
Others did their homework and came up with names from other languages: Abidemi (meaning “girl born during her father's absence”); Adaeze and Aminata (both meaning “princess”); Caliente (“hot” — she was born on the hottest day of the year at that point); Izegbe (“long-awaited child” — no kidding, elephants carry their calves for 22 months!); Kunto (“third born” — which she is); Baba and Yaa (both meaning “born on Thursday” — which she was); and Zuberi (“strong” — which she will be someday).
Some of these suggestions were a challenge to pronounce: Pragtige (“beautiful” — which she is); Dambudzo (“child born during troubled times”); Moto majira ya joto (“hot summer”); and Alizaliwa na nyeupe mto (“born by White River”).
Some people recommended word names: Baby, Diamond, Heatwave, Hope, Joy, Loyal, Oasis and Tusk.
Others put a cute spin on their choices: Bubbles, Fluffy, Little Foot, Little Miss E, Nugget, Poncho, Squirt and Twinkletoes.
Still others may have been submitted when the nominator was hungry: Chippy, CoCo, Peaches, Peanut, Pickles and Waffles.