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New arrival

Asian Elephant Malee was born healthy at 9:13 p.m. April 15 at the Oklahoma City Zoo.

Ryan Querbach June 8th, 2011

The Oklahoma City Zoo has a new member in its animal family, a recently born female Asian elephant named Malee.

Malee the baby Asian Elephant was born recently.
Credits: Candice Rennels

Born on April 15 at 304 pounds, Malee, which is Thai for “flower,” is the first elephant to be birthed at the zoo.

Since her birth, excitement has been in the air at the zoo, 2101 N.E. 50th.

Spokeswoman Tara Henson mentioned that it is on track to break a million visitors this year — a record — thanks in large part to Malee.

“The excitement with the staff and also everybody coming to see her is just crazy,” Henson said. “The Thunder have nothing on our baby elephant.”

Malee has been living with her 16-year-old mother, Asha, and Aunt Chandra since birth, with both of them taking on the responsibilities of raising her. Her 39-year-old father, Sneezy, lives in the Tulsa Zoo. “It’s just a very rare opportunity to get to see a baby elephant, and to get to see a baby elephant growing and interacting with her mom,” Henson said.

In addition to the precious pachyderm, the zoo also has a new habitat for the elephants, giving them a much better living environment. Visitors can chat with the elephant keepers at 1:15 p.m. daily in front of the center yard.

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Oklahoma City Zoo will remain open until 8 p.m. on Saturdays through Sept. 3. For more information, call 424-3344 or visit —Ryan Querbach

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