The Toledo Zoo's baby African elephant calf now has a name. Born June 3, to Renee, the Toledo Zoo's female African elephant, the young guy has been christened, "Lucas" -- named after the county in which he resides.
"The Toledo Zoo is a regional treasure," said Dr. Anne Baker, executive director of the Toledo Zoo. "We are grateful to Lucas County voters who have supported us over the years and helped us become one of the best zoos in the U.S."
Baker says that Lucas' birth is a reminder of the plight of African elephants in the wild which confront habitat loss, human encroachment, and poaching. The African elephant is listed as an endangered species.
Lucas weighed 300 lbs at birth and is putting on about two pounds a day, Dr. Baker added.
The name comes from a contest in which the public was invited to vote on one of three names for the calf. Lucas was one of the names nominated for the vote because zoo officials wanted to honor Lucas County voters who have consistently supported the zoo through levies and other activities, according Dr. Baker.
The contest became a point of controversy when a large contingent of Facebook supporters pushed for the calf to be named after Nicholas Allore, a six year old boy who died suddenly at the Toledo Zoo of heart failure shortly after Lucas was born. Zoo officials resolved the controversy at the Allore family's request by promising to construct a bench in Allore's honor near the elephant exhibit.
More than 8,000 votes were cast in the contest. "Lucas." won by more than 3,000 votes
Lucas and his mother, Renee, are available for public viewing daily between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM.
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