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A spokesman for West Midlands Safari Park, has called the naming of a 5-week-old baby elephant after Stephen Sutton a 'fitting tribute to an inspirational young man' and recalled the moment when the cancer hero met the calf's mother earlier this year.
Bob Lawrence, Director of Wildlife, said:
This is a fitting tribute to an inspirational young man who captured the hearts and minds of so many for his remarkable achievements. Stephen and his mother, Jane, met Five in January 2014 before the calf was born...
...It was number 30 on Stephen's bucket list to "Hug an animal that is bigger than me". In the event, I think Stephen's legacy has turned into something even bigger...
...There is also another remarkable side to this story. The calf's father - a wild bull elephant from South Africa - is called 'Steve'! The Parks' Consultant Vet for this project - IZW Berlin - chose 'Steve' because he was a magnificent specimen of an African elephant.
Staff at West Midlands Safari Park have named a baby elephant in Stephen Sutton's honour, after conducting a poll on social media.
The 5-week-old calf already weighs 130kg and is the the first baby elephant to be born at West Midland Safari Park in its 41-year history.
To mark the event, staff decided to launch an online competition to decide on a name.
Perhaps owing to the image of Stephen hugging the calf's mother 'Five' back in January - as one of his bucket list wishes to 'hug an animal bigger than me' - there were around 2,000 suggestions each for the names 'Stephen' and 'Sutton'.