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Pittsburgh Zoo's Baby Elephant Makes Public Debut

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- In early June, the media was introduced to the newest member of the Pittsburgh Zoo family: a female African elephant, born prematurely.

One month later, she graciously grants an audience to the public at large. Elephant manager Willie Theison says the calf is doing very well.

"She's actually a little ahead on the use of her trunk, just because we give her more things to manipulate and move," he said. "She's doing everything that we would hope. She's already beginning to drink water with her trunk. She loves to play in the water."

Zoo president Dr. Barbara Baker says the premature baby is still treated with care.

"We'll have her on exhibit as long as we can, but if for any reason we have a concern about her health or well-being - because the calf comes first, as with all animals here at the zoo - then we will have to pull her off," she said. "In which case, of course, we'll try to let people know ahead of time, if we can."

Far from camera shy, she proves to be a bit of a ham.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"Her personality, she is full of spunk and fire, just like her mother," Theison says. "We had hoped she'd be more like her dad, nice and calm and relaxed, but she is all energy. She is everywhere, getting into everything she can get into."

She hasn't received a name just yet.

"I want to name her Sequoia," says a girl who came to see her.

For now, the elephant calf simply answers to "Baby." And Dr. Baker says things couldn't be better.

"Things are going very well. So far, so good."

The news is great. The name can wait.

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