Northwest NEWS

February 26, 2001


Name the baby elephant


Lisa Allen.

by Lisa Allen
   Valley View Editor
   SEATTLE - She is no longer a newborn, but she still rates a "10" on the cute scale. Wowing visitors with her antics, the Woodland Park Zoo's baby Asian elephant is now three months old and weighs 530 pounds, adding about three pounds every day.
   So zoo officials have decided it is time to give her a name. This week the zoo kicks off its Baby Elephant Naming Sweepstakes. Entry forms are available on Hyperlink, or at any Western Washington Bartell Drugs, Western Washington McDonald's and Woodland Park's ZooStore.
   Entry forms must be received by Friday, March 23. Due to Washington state regulations and game rules, only Washington state residents are eligible to enter.
   Naming the baby could be a challenge. Zoo spokeswoman Gigi Allianic said the name must be of Thai origin, because the zoo gives its residents names that reflect their countries of origin. The calf's mother, 22-year-old Chai, was born in Thailand and arrived at Woodland Park in 1980 at the age of one.
   In addition to the honor of naming the first-ever elephant born at the zoo and in Washington state, the grand prize winner gets a trip for two to Thailand and a "meet and greet" the baby elephant for four. Other prizes are offered for runners-up.
   The Sweepstakes is sponsored by KING 5 Television, Bartell Drugs, The Boeing Company, McDonald's, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Thai Airways International.
   The elephants can be seen during regular zoo hours from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Visitors may watch the elephant keepers bathe the animals in the mornings, at around 10 a.m.