Elephant calf at San Diego Zoo Safari Park receives name

"Qinisa" is Swasi word meaning to act with energy

SAN DIEGO -  

A 3-week-old African elephant born at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park was given a hard-to-say name in a little-known language that means to act with energy, to fulfill one's word or speak the truth, zoo officials said Tuesday.

"Qinisa" is a Swasi word, and the first letter is pronounced a tongue pop, followed by een-ee-seh, a zoo official said.

The female calf, named by zoo employees, was born Aug. 28 and appears to be developing faster than other elephants born there. After about a week, she was able to suck water through her trunk and pick up objects, something zoo animal care manager Curtis Lehman said other calves usually do after about two weeks. Qinisa has gained 40 pounds since she was born.

The park now has 13 elephants -- four adults and nine offspring. The adults were brought in from Swaziland in 2003, before a scheduled cull.

Research is being conducted at the park on elephant nutrition, daily walking distance, growth and development, and bio-acoustic communication, according to zoo officials.

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