San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Big Baby Girl Gets a Name

| November 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

The newest baby elephant at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is shown with her mother.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park announced that the newest baby elephant born at the Park has been named Mkhaya. The youngest member of the herd—born Sept. 26 to mother Umngani (pronounced OOM-gah-nee)—was named for Mkhaya, a wildlife reserve in the southern African nation of Swaziland. The name follows the Safari Park’s tradition of naming African elephants using Swahili-based words.

San Diego Zoo Global collaborates with the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in Africa, which operates a community-based elephant orphanage that cares for injured and orphaned elephants in the Namunyuk region of Kenya. Many of the orphan elephant calves at the community-run center are given Swahili-based names derived from the areas where they were found.

At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, little Mkhaya (nicknamed “Kaia”) joins a herd of 13 other elephants—four adults and 9 youngsters. The adults were rescued in 2003 from Swaziland, where they had faced being culled due to challenges related to reduced habitat. The two new calves and their herd may be seen at the Safari Park’s elephant habitat and on the Safari Park’s Elephant Cam, at

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