There is nothing like the moment when newborn babies and their older sibling get a first look at one another, and that holds for elephants too.
That tender moment for the newest addition to the Oregon Zoo’s elephant family, a still-to-be-named, week-old calf, happened last weekend as she finally met her 4-year-old big brother, Samudra.
In video that was released by the zoo on Wednesday, the calf can be seen rambling with her mother, Rose-Tu, through the elephant facility to what the zoo calls the “howdy gate” to greet the much bigger but gentle Samudra.
As siblings will do, the pair poked and prodded at each other, presumably checking each other out.
The calf’s father, Tusko, is part of an agreement the zoo has with Have Trunk Will Travel, a California group that rents elephants to the entertainment industry, that dictated that some of Tusko’s offspring would become the property of the group.
The zoo said this week, however, that while Have Trunk Will Travel does formally own the calf, neither they nor the zoo intend to move the new calf from her current home with her herd.
“As per the agreement, Have Trunk Will Travel is the formal owner of Rose-Tu’s calf. However, ownership of an animal does not determine where it will live. Nearly every zoo keeps animals that they don’t own,” the Zoo said in a statement on its website.
While the new calf has seen her brother, she and her mom are not yet ready for human visitors, according to zoo spokesman Hova Najarian.
Humans can, however, choose the calf’s name. The Oregon Zoo’s elephant staff has chosen five baby names – Jaidee, Sirikit, Rakhi, Lily and Siddhi – and is leaving it up to the public to vote for a name between now and Dec. 9 through an online survey.