First baby elephant in Dublin zoo named

There were jumbo celebrations in Dublin Zoo today as its first baby elephant was officially named.

There were jumbo celebrations in Dublin Zoo today as its first baby elephant was officially named.

Asha – meaning ’hope’ in Hindi – was chosen for the bouncing baby girl who arrived almost four months ago weighing in at 80kg (176lb) .

Zookeepers trumpeted Asha’s arrival in the early hours of May 7 when she became the first elephant to be born in Ireland.

Infrared cameras capture the natural birth and showed her taking her first steps within eight minutes.

Asha can be seen with her mother Bernhardine and other elephants Yasmin and Anak, in the recently opened Kaziranga Forest Trail.

Clare Creegan, from Raheny in north Dublin, was randomly selected as the lucky winner of a nationwide competition to name the youngster.

She was one of the nine people to suggest the winning name.

“I’m so excited that I have been chosen as the winner,” said 12-year-old Clare.

“I love coming to Dublin Zoo, and when I heard that there was a baby elephant born here I was delighted to be able to suggest a name for her.

“I chose Asha because I think the new elephant has brought hope to the zoo as the first elephant born in Ireland.

“Also, it’s a very pretty name, so I thought it suited her.”

The judging panel included Leo Oosterweghel, Director of Dublin Zoo, international elephant consultant Alan Roocroft, Gerry Creighton junior team leader, and Helen Joyce, News2Day presenter from RTE.

“We have had a really fantastic response to the competition,” added Mr Oosterweghel.

“With almost 1,000 entries and so many great suggestions, it was a very hard decision but we all agreed upon the name Asha.

“Not only does the name Asha originate from Asia, just like our baby elephant, but also the meaning ’Hope’ and ’Life’, rang true to what we believe Asha, as the first ever elephant to be born in the Republic of Ireland, represents to Dublin Zoo.”

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