Mikki and Calf Blog #7 — Learning His World

Your little calf is almost 2 months old now and like most young individuals, he continues to discover new things about his body and his surroundings. We’ve heard lots of folks asking about why the calf puts his trunk in his mouth or even commenting, “he sucks his thumb too!”

Our calf is still learning his what his trunk is capable of — just like a kid learning what their arms and hands can do! While the calf is not sucking his trunk like a thumb, he is walking around with his trunk in his mouth from time to time. He is gathering intel about his surroundings though his Jacobson’s organ that collects the data and sends information to his brain about smells and more. All mammals except for marine mammals and primates have Jacobson’s organs. Humans don’t have them.

In the photo below, you can see the elephant calf’s trunk curling around to grasp some grass nearby. We’ve seen him start gathering hay and dirt as well. He’s also attempted to pick up some banana that mom Mikki dropped. He’s learning the entire world through his trunk — and what an incredible tool it is!


This week is last chance weekend to submit your name suggestions for our Elephant Naming Contest presented by Norton Children’s. Sunday, Sept. 29 at midnight is the deadline to submit a name online. As a reminder, here is the timeline again:

  • Sept 29 (midnight): last chance to suggest a name (Online only)
  • Oct. 7 – 20: Zoo guests and online visitors can vote for their favorite name.
  • Week of Oct. 21: the winning name is revealed
  • Oct. 21 and beyond: We can stop calling him “the calf” and call him by his new official name.

Mikki and calf have been extending their mornings in the yard a bit more, but we still encourage you to check LouisvilleZoo.org/today for the latest updates.

The next steps, of course, will be extending their outside time even more and then, further down the road, introducing elephant Punch in shared spaces when the elephant care team observes it is an appropriate time to do so.

For all updates and naming contest details, visit LouisvilleZoo.org/Mikki (we bet you can say that website in your sleep now).