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A female elephant calf that the Ueno Zoological Gardens in Tokyo received as a gift from India in April made her first public appearance at the zoo on Tuesday.

Surya, an Asian elephant whose name means “the sun” in Sanskrit, was robed in yellow and decorated in traditional Indian style, to the delight of 300 Indian children who watched the event.

The guest of honor, Indian Ambassador to Japan Aftab Seth, said he was very pleased to be able to present Surya as a gift to Japan, and expressed hope that visitors would enjoy viewing the elephant.

India had previously sent two elephants to Japan from Delhi in 1984.

According to zoo officials, there are now four elephants at the Ueno zoo, one male and three females. The zoo plans to renovate the animals’ habitat during fiscal 2002.

Surya, who is estimated to be 7 years old, was captured when she was four months old and was raised at an Indian zoo.

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