Voters pick 'Lily' in elephant naming contest

PORTLAND, Ore. - Rose-Tu's baby elephant finally has a name.

The Oregon Zoo announced Monday that "Lily" received the most votes in the online contest to name the 10-day-old baby.

The other choices in the naming contest were:

  • Jaidee, Thai for "good-hearted"
  • Sirikit, a name for Thai royalty meaning "glorious"
  • Rakhi, Sanskrit for "love between siblings"
  • Siddhi, Sanskrit for "perfection"

Lily was the overwhelming favorite among voters, the zoo announced. Of the 50,764 votes submitted by Sunday afternoon, Lily received 30,037, which is nearly 60 percent.

"The outpouring support for the zoo and its newest resident has been incredible," said zoo director Kim Smith. "This community is definitely inspired by Rose-Tu's new calf."

Jaidee was the runner-up with about 21 percent of the vote. Rakhi finished third with a little more than seven percent. Siddhi had about 6.5 percent and Sirikit had six percent.

Smith said Rose-Tu and Lily are developing a strong bond. Lily met her big brother Samudra earlier this month.

"This calf is definitely not shy," said zoo elephant curator Bob Lee. "When she and Samudra first met, she rushed up to him to touch trunks. Mom had to hold her back a little. She also made a big impression on her auntie Shine."

Lily was born Nov. 30 at 2:17 a.m. Zoo officials said she weighed 300 pounds at birth.

Lily has been the subject of controversy after zoo officials acknowledged she was owned by a California company that rents out elephants for entertainment purposes and has been accused of mistreatment by animal rights groups.

However, the owners of Have Trunk Will Travel released a statement that said Lily will remain at the Oregon Zoo.

It's unclear when the public will be able to visit Lily.

Read more: Oregon Zoo baby elephant blog