The votes are in, and the baby Asian elephant born at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo on Jan. 15 has a name: Ajay – pronounced "Ah-JAI" – a Sanskrit meaning "Invincible."
Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon came to the present day to announce the winning name, which was submitted by Heather House of Hastings.
"We had 8,400 votes cast, and Ajay received almost 37 percent of the vote," County Executive McMahon said. “Thank you to the more than 3,000 people who submitted names and everyone who voted.”
The calf represents another great success for the zoo's Asian Elephant program, which is one of only 30 facilities for Asian elephants and only 1
“Our zoo is doing a fantastic job with endangered animals, and I am thankful to the elephant staff for all the dedication and care it took to bring this baby to the world,” McMahon said.
Ted Fox's director said a name that means "Invincible" is fitting because the calf has a feisty, winning personality and it is the most precocious baby elephant the zoo's elephant care team has ever seen. began exploring his surroundings and leaving his mother's page within hours of his birth, and using his trunk to pick up objects within weeks – something his older brother, Batu, took months to attempt.
super curious and unafraid to try new things, ”Fox said. "He started walking away from his mother the day he was born and she has been chasing him ever since."
The new baby is the offspring of female Asian elephant Mali, 22, and bull elephant Doc, 21. Their first calf , Ajay's big brother Batu, will turn 4 on May 12, Mother's Day
Ajay is not yet on public view. He will be introduced to Asian Elephant Preserve once in an expansion of the habitat is completed in late May. The zoo will continue to post updates on its social media.
The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is among 233 such accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquarium (AZA), which requires the highest standards of animal care, wildlife conservation and guest education. AZA also oversees Species Survival Plans to maintain and increase the populations of endangered species. Ajay's birth is part of the AZA's SSP for Asian elephants.