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Garden City zoo announces name for new black rhino calf

The Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City is asking for help to name the black rhino calf that was...
The Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City is asking for help to name the black rhino calf that was born on January 20.(Lee Richardson Zoo)
Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 11:55 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 9, 2021 at 4:55 PM CST
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GARDEN CITY, Kan. - Update Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021: Garden City’s Lee Richardson Zoo announced that after a week of voting, the results are in and the zoo has a name for its baby black rhino. The critically-endangered black rhino calf is named Ayubu.

“Ayubu is Swahili for perseverance which is a quality a critically endangered species definitely needs,” the zoo said in a news release on the name announcement. The zoo said Ayubu weighed about 90 pounds at birth, For comparison, the zoo said Ayubu’s seven-year-old father weighs 2,570 pounds. Ayubu is spending time with his mother indoors, bonding.

“The calf is putting on weight and developing his coordination, speed, and ‘rhino-tude’ (rhino attitude). He has also started nibbling at the same food his mom and dad eat,” the Lee Richardson Zoo said in its news release.

Monday, Jan. 28, 2021: The Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City is asking for your help to name the black rhino calf that was born on January 20.

You can stop by the Finnup Center for Conservation Education at the zoo or go to the zoo’s Facebook page or YouTube channel to help select the name from options chosen by zoo staff.

At 4 days old, the new rhino weighed 93 pounds. The calf has been spending time following mom around, nursing, and sleeping. He has started periodically sparring with mom, investigating his surroundings, and snorting and shaking his head at keepers (and mom). Johari, mother of her first calf, is doing just great and Jabari, the father, seems to be interested in seeing what’s causing all the commotion.

Eastern black rhinos are native to eastern Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) and are listed as Critically Endangered. They are the rarest of the three remaining black rhino subspecies. Poaching for their horn continues to be their biggest threat. Conservation and management efforts have resulted in a slow increase in population numbers in recent years.

Potential names:

Ayubu: means perseverance during difficult times (fitting for the pandemic as well as a critically endangered species). We will continue to persevere despite all the challenges that come our way.

Faru: means tank. He’s built like a little tank and ready to take on the world.

Mkali: means fierce. At only a few days old, he’s already sparring with mom and snorting and shaking his head at those around him.

Moto: means heart. The little fellow stole everyone’s heart the second he arrived.

Voting will occur from January 31 – February 5. The winning name will be announced on February 9.

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