Zoo says breeding loan won’t impact new arrival
The Oregon Zoo faced questions over the ownership of its newest baby elephant Tuesday after the Seattle Times reported that the calf was owned by a California company called Have Trunk Will Travel under a breeding contract that sent the father, Tusko to the zoo in 2005.
Kim Smith, executive director of the Oregon Zoo, said the breeding loan was a standard practice in zoos meant to bring genetic diversity to elephant herds, and that it was never meant to determine where the offspring would reside.
“The calf is here to stay,” Smith said.
She said the company “supports our vision” of breading elephant herds and keeping the newborn with its mother at the zoo.
Oregon Zoo keepers are asking the community to help them choose a name for the young female calf. Keepers are considering the following five names with roots to southeast Asia: Jaidee, Sirikit, Rakhi, Lily and Siddhi.