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Virgo was born into the so-called “orphan’s herd” observed by Heike Zitzer, an elephant researcher at Space for Elephants Foundation in Pongola, South Africa. Virgo’s mother, Charm, didn’t have a say in naming him as that’s the privilege of those researchers who can identify the gender of the little calf first. And this time, it was Pene and John’s turn, fellow Space for Elephants team members, to name the little one.
They were canoeing on the lake Jozini looking for the orphan’s herd and were lucky to encounter them on the shore. To their delight, they also spotted a new calf in the midst of the group, a baby boy! As per the rules for naming elephants after stars or Zulu or Swazi names, they thought about an appropriate name. The little boy was born in the same month as John and needed a star name so he was named Virgo. He has now grown bigger than John, yet still is a playful child at heart!
Photo credit and text: Heike Zitzer, Space for Elephants Foundation