Mr Shuffles gets new name
Sydney - Australia's elephant calf Mr Shuffles, whose successful birth after being pronounced dead during labour caused a nationwide sensation, was renamed Pathi Harn, meaning "miracle" in Thai, on Thursday.
The elephant, whose nickname came from his unsteady walk, was blessed in a Thai naming ceremony at Sydney's Taronga Zoo just two weeks after cheating death. Pathi Harn was the top choice out of seven names put to the public.
"Pathi Harn's story has really captured the public's imagination and they have chosen a name that reflects this," said New South Wales state environment minister Frank Sartor.
However he admitted that the elephant would be unlikely to outgrow his nickname, which has won widespread public affection.
"Pathi Harn will of course be the name that will replace Mr Shuffles, which I suppose will remain the nickname," Sartor said.
Pathi Harn was declared dead on March 8 after about a week of labour. But zoo staff noticed he was moving after finally being born two days later.
He is the third calf born in Australia since last July under a conservation breeding programme using adult elephants from Thailand.