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Baby elephant gets a name - Maliha

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Maliha was born just after midnight on August 2, weighing 341 pounds. (zoo photo)

By KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The baby elephant at the St. Louis Zoo now has a name. People voted by mail and online and favored the name Maliha (pronounced mah-lee-hah).

The name is a Hindi word meaning "strong" and "beautiful."

Maliha is the first baby elephant born at the zoo since her dad, Raja, who was also named through a naming contest.

Another Asian elephant is due at the zoo in February.

The zoo says more than 20,525 votes were tallied in the contest, with Maliha receiving 7,863 votes.

"Maliha suits her just perfectly," says zoo curator Martha Fischer, in a statement. "She is an important addition to the Asian elephant population worldwide, and we're happy that our visitors could help us select the calf's name."

The other choices for the name were: Sundari, which means "beautiful woman;" Nisha, which means "night;" Sashi, which means "moon;" and Jaya, which means "victorious."

Maliha also recently went on display for zoo patrons to see. Prime viewing times are 9-11 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. through Labor Day, with rest time during the heat of the day or inclement weather.

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