Elephant Calf Truly Lives Up to Her Name

San Diego Elephant Calf
San Diego Zoo Safari Park

An African elephant calf born last month finally has a moniker — and boy, did her keepers get it right. The new addition to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is named Qinisa (the "q" sound is actually pronounced as a tongue pop), which in Siswati means "to act with energy" or "speak the truth."

Zookeepers say Qinisa is definitely acting with energy, and developing faster than any of the park's other 12 elephant calves. Curtis Lehman, the zoo's animal care manager, says Qinisa was sucking water into her trunk and using it to pick up sticks at only 1 week old.

Qinisa's mother, Swazi, was rescued in 2003 from the Kingdom of Swaziland, where her small habitat was threatened by long periods of drought. As for her youngster, the petite pachyderm won't be little for much longer. She's already an expert at nursing, and gained 40 pounds in her first 21 days of life! You can watch Qinisa and the rest of her elephant crew on the zoo's Elephant Cam.


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