County Executive Ryan McMahon Announces Public Vote for Name of Baby Elephant


Syracuse, N.Y. – The baby Asian elephant born at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo on January 15 is a step closer to gaining a name, with the announcement of a public vote for five finalists selected by the zoo’s elephant care team.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced the five finalists in the naming contest today, and invited the public to vote for their favorite submission for the male calf born to mother Mali and father Doc.

County Executive McMahon said, “The response from the community has been tremendous with over 3,000 people suggesting names for the baby elephant.” McMahon continued, “The elephant care staff have chosen their top five, and now we will hold an online vote for the winning name.”

The zoo’s elephant keepers selected names that reflect the heritage of Asian elephants, which are native to Southeast Asia.

The 5 finalists are:

  • Ajay (Uh-JAY) – “Invincible” in Sanskrit – submitted by Heather House, 37, of Hastings.
  • Anurak (Ah-NEW-rak) – Male angel in Thai mythology – submitted by Sarah Pappa, 20, of Altmar.
  • Chakrii (JAK-gree) – “King” in Thai – submitted by Rebekah Liszewski, 20, of North Syracuse.
  • Luk Chai (Look-CHAI) – “Son” in Thai – submitted by Lilyanna Kupiec, 12, of Camillus.
  • Rune (Roo-NEE) – “Happy” in Thai – submitted by the Geller family of Pennellville.

The public may vote via an online form starting, February 27th.

The link can be found here: Help name the new baby elephant!  Voting will be open until 4 p.m. on Friday, March 8th.