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Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012, 8:07 p.m.

Oregon zoo will retain baby born to rental elephants

PORTLAND, Ore.-- A California elephant rental company agrees with the Oregon Zoo's assertion that the Portland facility will retain possession of the country's newest baby elephant, a 300-pound female that hasn't yet been named.
A breeding contract gives ownership of the calf to Have Trunk Will Travel of Perris, Calif. However, Oregon Zoo director Kim Smith said the elephant will live out her life at the zoo.
The elephant is the second baby for Rose-Tu and Tusko. Tusko is on long-term loan to the zoo from Have Trunk Will Travel. A 2005 contract between the company and the zoo says the company takes ownership of the pair's second, fourth and sixth offspring after 30 days.
In an email late Tuesday to The Associated Press, Have Trunk Will Travel co-owner Kari Johnson said her company "has no intention and has never had any intention of coming to take Rose-Tu's calf." Johnson adds that her company "supports Oregon Zoo's vision for elephants and has great appreciation for the way they care for elephants."

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