Katie Pilgram / St. Louis Zoo

Updated with photos of new calf & naming information May 6:

The St. Louis Zoo has announced that the elephant has been named Priya (pronounced Pree-yah) after 53,692 votes from the public were counted.

The name means "dear" or "beloved" and received just over 29 percent of the votes. The runner-up name was "Willow."

Original story from April 27:

Late Friday night the St. Louis Zoo's 42-year-old Asian elephant, Ellie, gave birth to a female calf.   With the new addition the zoo’s elephant herd now grows to ten. 


An Asian elephant calf is due to be born any day at the St. Louis Zoo, cause for both celebration and concern amid the backdrop of a deadly herpes virus.

The virus has killed about 25 percent of Asian elephants born in North American zoos in the past three decades. Some animal rights activists told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it is irresponsible to breed elephants knowing the presence of the virus in the herd.

Stephanie Richmond / Courtesy of the St. Louis Zoo

The Asian elephant herd at the Saint Louis Zoo is about to grow again.

The Zoo announced today that Ellie is pregnant with a female calf. It's her fourth pregnancy and third birth - she miscarried in 2010 at 36 weeks. The typical elephant pregnancy lasts about 22 months, so Ellie's latest calf is due in the spring of 2013.

The Zoo says typical newborn elephants weigh between 250 and 350 pounds.

(Photo courtesy of Becky Heisler/Saint Louis Zoo)

The Asian elephant calf Kenzi is making her public debut this morning at the Saint Louis Zoo.

The three-month-old calf will be on view at the "River's Edge" habitat from 10 a.m. to noon and then again from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. today through Sunday.

(St. Louis Zoo)

Updated 2:47 p.m. July 5 with name finalized:

The St. Louis Zoo announced that a name has been chosen for the baby elephant, Kenzi, which won with 69,406 (53.88%) votes. Runner up June received 40,683 votes (31.58%), Zoe received 12,249 votes (9.51%) and Mya received 6,438 votes (5%). Write-ins received .03% of the vote.

Updated 10:27 a.m. June 28 with naming contest information

It's a girl: The latest addition to the St. Louis Zoo is a bouncing baby elephant.

(St. Louis Zoo)

A 40-year old Asian elephant at the St. Louis Zoo named "Donna" has tested positive for tuberculosis, but is expected to be just fine.

Donna the Elephant came to the St. Louis zoo as a 3-year old juvenile in 1971.

All elephants get complete medical evaluation each year including blood collection, vaccinations and trunk cultures to look for tuberculosis.

Randy Junge, the Zoo's Director of Animal Health said the 40-year-old pachyderm will live off-display for the next year, but won't be quarantined.