banner - l/side image of Fitz, baby grey elephant, standing under head, trunk of mom Mickey, r/side Naming Contest, Presented by Norton Children's balloon logo, green background, with black shadow baby elephant holding tail of mom adult black shadow elephant, both walking

Elephant Calf Name Finalists Announced (Media Release)

CONTACT: Kyle Shepherd
Direct: 502-238-5331  |  Media Only: 502-744-5639

Presented by Norton Children’s 

The Louisville Zoo just wrapped up the submission phase of the Elephant Calf Naming Contest presented by Norton Children’s and is happy to announce the final three names available for voting are Fitz, Rocket and Walt.  Zoo fans submitted just over 15,000 names for the male elephant calf born on August 2, 2019. The elephant crew had an epic task narrowing down those entries to just three.

Each of the final three names had duplicate submissions, so the Zoo performed a random drawing amongst the people who submitted each of these three names to decide our finalists.

Kristin Hays from Prospect submitted “Fitz” after her great-grandfather who loved elephants and passed the love on to her. Tatyana Malkin’s 9-year-old daughter, Sofia, asked her to submit “Rocket” to go along with our recently named bongo “Groot,” both from the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Taylor Barr from Meade County submitted “Walt” after Walt Disney.

The public is invited to vote on their favorite of the three names between now and October 20.  Guests visiting the Zoo can vote by dropping coins or bills into a naming kiosk located near the elephant area. Voting will also be available online by way of donations made to support a favorite name (credit cards only).  All proceeds from the naming contest will support the Zoo’s mission to “better the bond between people and our planet” by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in conservation education and action.

The winning name and person who submitted that name will be announced the week of October 21. The person who submitted the winning name will receive a prize basket with items from the Zoo and Norton Children’s Hospital along with a gift certificate from Comfy Cow and a behind-the-scenes tour (for 5 guests) to meet the elephant calf and Mikki. The finalists will be awarded a prize basket containing items from Norton Children’s Hospital including a blanket, two (2) travel cups, an insulated cup and an umbrella. The basket will also include (1) Louisville Zoo plush elephant, (1) Louisville Zoo tote bag, plus (1) Louisville Zoo admission package including admission tickets, parking and all-day carousel rides for four persons. It will also include a gift certificate from Comfy Cow.


The Zoo welcomed a male elephant calf on Friday, August 2 to 33-year-old African elephant Mikki. Mikki and the calf are on exhibit daily 10 a.m. to noon, subject to change while the acclimation process continues. Zoo guests can visit to see daily updates for elephant viewing and to vote.


The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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