One mother elephant at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo was recently given the opportunity to choose her 3-week-old baby’s name, but it’s not like she sat in a conference room and discussed the matter. In true animal style, the elephant, named Matjeka, chose her baby’s name using her stomach!
The elephant care team at the zoo has a history of engaging their animals in fun enrichment activities. Last year, according to WTSP, another elephant named Tamani was given the choice between two watermelons to eat: one with a ‘P’ painted on it and one with a ‘G.’ Tamani rushed to the melons and immediately stomped on and began eating the one painted with a ‘P,’ signifying that the Patriots would be pummeled by the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLVI, which is exactly what happened!
This year, instead of smashing watermelons, new mom Matjeka rushed over to a pile of hay topped with produce and carrots spelling the name ‘Mavi,’ (meaning ‘voices’ in African language Swati) and began chowing down, thus naming her baby. The other pile had the name ‘Mngani’ (meaning ‘friend’ in Swati) spelled in carrots, but to the delight of onlookers, Mavi was chosen instead.
Welcome to the world, little Mavi! Someday it will be your turn to pick your baby’s name among the carrots. Choose wisely.