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Zoo Plans Press Conference Following Report On New Elephant Calf

OPB | Dec. 4, 2012 6:25 a.m.

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The Oregon Zoo has scheduled an early morning press conference Tuesday following a newspaper report about the ownership of its one-week old baby elephant.

Oregon Zoo's new baby elephant.

Oregon Zoo's new baby elephant.

Michael Durham / Oregon Zoo

The Seattle Times reports the elephant is promised to a private California company, Have Trunk Will Travel.

The Times report says the calf will legally belong to the company in one month’s time.

Have Trunk Will Travel faces mounting criticsm for offering elephant rides at regional fairs and zoos, according to the Times.

The zoo confirmed the calf is owned by the Perris, Calif. company that sent the father, Tusko, to the zoo in 2005.

Under the agreement, the zoo kept the first calf born to Rose-Tu. That was Samudra in 2008. The company gets the second, fourth and sixth offspring.

An 8:30 a.m. press conference by zoo officials is planned.

A zoo public information specialist, Hova Najarian, told KGW that although Have Trunk Will Travel will own the calf after 30 days, zoo officials hope it will remain at the zoo.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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