First elephant born in 138 years at Japan’s oldest Zoo

More than a century old and Japan’s oldest zoo, unveiled the first baby elephant to be born there since its founding, and have sought help from the public for naming it.

The choices are Arun, which means “dawn” in Thai, Atsadong (sunset), or Tawan (sun). The winning name will be announced on Dec. 15.

The male calf was shown to the public for the first time this week since his birth at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoological Gardens on the 31st of OCT.

The baby was about 100 centimeters tall and 120 kg at birth, but he has grown considerably since.

His mother Authi and father Artid were presented as a gift to Japan by Thailand in 2002 to celebrate the birth of Princess Aiko, the one and only daughter of Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.

To avoid stressing the animals, the Zoo authorities have limited the viewings of the baby elephant and mother Authi to two hours a day for now.  The father elephant, Artid, passed away at the age of 23 in August after a struggle with tuberculosis.

The Ueno zoo, founded in 1882, has requested the public to vote online for the baby’s name, choosing from names suggested by the Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo.

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