May 11, 2009

Baby elephant a holiday hit at Ohio zoo

Officials at the Columbus Zoo in the Ohio capital say their newest elephant, which attracted scores of Mother's Day visitors, has been named Beco.

The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch said Monday that many of more than 15,000 people who visited the Columbus Zoo Sunday took time to visit Beco, whose name represents a combination of its mother Phoebe and father Coco.

Beco's chosen name was the result of a zoo poll that drew 12,783 total votes, including 6,064 in favor of Beco.

Beco was among four naming possibilities chosen by the zoo from more than 11,000 name suggestions. The three other tabbed suggestions were Sattva, Damai and Siddhartha.

The baby elephant was born on March 27 weighing 303 pounds and has since ballooned up to 410 pounds, consuming its mother's daily three gallons of breast milk.

Columbus resident Kathleen Groger, who visited the zoo Sunday with her family, remarked at the 655 days of pregnancy Phoebe endured to have growing Beco.

He was very cute, Groger told the Dispatch. I can't imagine 655 days, though.