Reid Park Zoo’s African elephant calf, now one month old, has a name! A poll conducted through the Arizona Daily Star’s Caliente received 7,880 votes, with 65% selecting Nandi as her name.
Nandi (Nahn-dee) is a common siSwati girl’s name, and in the Zulu language it means “sweet” or “fun.” This calf has proven herself to be both – capturing the hearts of Tucson residents. With two older brothers, this feminine name also celebrates the joy of welcoming a female calf to Tucson.
Immie, meaning “rain” in siSwati, was the second name choice, receiving 35% of the votes. Both names were chosen because of their origin or connection to the siSwati language. All three of Reid Park Zoo’s adult elephants were rescued from Swaziland, and all members of the herd have names connected to this region. Keepers wanted to continue this tradition in honor of the elephants’ origin.
Nandi will be on exhibit daily from 8 a.m. until at least 11 a.m. She may remain on the main exhibit longer, depending on how tired she is. When Nandi demonstrates she is ready for a rest, the Keepers shift the herd to allow her the quiet time she needs.