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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo announces birth of a baby rhino

Baby Rhino
Kyle Lanzer
/
Cleveland Metroparks
New baby rhino at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on July 12, 2022.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo announced Friday that 14-year-old Eastern black rhino Kibibbi gave birth to a female calf on July 9. They're both doing well.

The new rhino is Kibibbi’s third calf, and her second with male rhino Forrest. The new calf is the only one of the three that currently lives at the Cleveland Zoo. One of the calves was sent to the Buffalo Zoo over a year ago, and the other went earlier this year to the Living Desert Museum, a zoo in Palm Desert, California.

Baby Rhino
Kyle Lanzer
/
Cleveland Metroparks
The new baby rhino stands with her mother Kibibbi at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

The Eastern black rhino is a critically endangered species, with fewer than 750 remaining in the wild due to habitat loss and poaching for their horns.

“We won’t reintroduce her back into the wild,” the zoo's Executive Director Chris Kuhar told Ideastream Public Media. “But what she is is an ambassador. She’s the opportunity for us to talk about the conservation messaging. She’s an opportunity for us to talk about illegal wildlife trade, the importance of protecting rhinos from poaching.”

Though the calf is doing well, visitors will have to wait a little while longer to see her. Kibibbi and her calf are currently not on display, Kuhar said, as they engage in valuable bonding time. They will likely be visible to the public by the middle of August.

In the meantime, the zoo is asking the public to vote on the calf’s new name. The three options are Ali, which means supreme, Anika, meaning sweet, and Dalia, which means gentle.

The money raised as part of the naming vote will support rhino conservation efforts through the African Wildlife Foundation.

Baby Rhino
Kyle Lanzer
/
Cleveland Metroparks
Visitors can now vote for a name for the baby rhino. Voting closes at the end of the day on August 5.

Kuhar says another way to support animal conservation is to avoid buying animal products overseas.

“When you get to travel, avoid buying things like shells and rhino horns and things like that, because that’s really supporting a harvesting industry,” he said. “That’s one simple way you can help wildlife.”

Braedon Olsen is a high school intern from University School, where he is a rising senior. He has worked for two years with University School’s newspaper, The University School News, both as a staff writer and as an Editor-in-Chief. Braedon is also a diehard Cleveland sports fan and an avid stat junkie.