Zoo names new baby elephant Bala

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Baby elephant © Gareth Brooks

Baby elephant © Gareth Brooks

Chester Zoo has named its new baby elephant Bala Hi Way following a public vote.

The zoo teamed up with BBC Earth Unplugged to run a naming poll via social media with Bala, meaning ‘a girl’ in Hindi, emerging as the favourite.

From a shortlist of names chosen by the zoo’s keepers, Bala pulled in 55% of the vote and other favourites were Danti (20%) Nandita (15%) and Nanda (10%).

A spokesperson for Chester Zoo told JMU Journalism: “We were pleased to be able to give the public the chance to name our new arrival and think they have picked a fine name indeed.”

All of the family members in the herd, which spans four generations, have the surname Hi Way.

Bala was the second Asian elephant calf to be born at the zoo in the space of just eight weeks when she arrived at 11pm on January 21.

Chester Zoo is part of a breeding program coordinated by the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) that is focused on sustaining the elephant population in Europe.

About Rachael Laird, JMU Journalism