Oregon Zoo baby elephant Have Trunk Will Travel deal: Rose-Tu the Elephant's calf owned by company?

The leadership at the Oregon Zoo in Portland found itself on the defensive Tuesday.

The problem?

A new baby elephant born last week.

It seems a traveling elephant show will actually own the baby pachyderm once it is 30 days old.

A Seattle Times report detailed the contract between the zoo and Have Trunk Will Travel.

The zoo used one of the traveling company's male elephants for breeding and in return, gave ownership of the calf.

The zoo's executive director Kim Smith says the Times didn't understand the contract.

"It's not something that bears where this animal lives," Smith said. "This animal lives here. It's just an agreement on how the ownership of the animal is and how we operate. But it is, where the animal lives, is at the Oregon Zoo."

Smith says while it's true Have Trunk Will Travel owns the new calf -- it doesn't mean it can take possession of it.

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