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Public invited to participate in rhino calf naming at Blank Park Zoo

11/29/2016

Blank Park Zoo officials have announced how the rhino calf born on Oct. 11 will be named. Anyone who gives $50 or more between now and Dec. 31  to the non-profit Blank Park Zoo will have the opportunity to suggest a name. The top names will be selected and beginning in early January, the public will be able to vote on the name to be given to the calf. The announcement of the name will occur on Jan. 11 at approximately 11:23 a.m. — three months from the rhino’s birth.

“We wanted to have a fun way for the public to be involved with naming the rhino calf, generate needed funds for Blank Park Zoo and raise awareness about the plight of the eastern black rhino in the wild,” said Mark Vukovich, CEO.

The donations will be used to fund the operations of the non-profit Blank Park Zoo including conservation efforts, educational outreach and veterinary expenses. Donations can be made online at www.blankparkzoo.com, in person at Blank Park Zoo or via the mail as long as they are received at the Zoo by Dec. 31.

Preference will be given to Swahili names.

The female rhino calf was born on Oct. 11 and weighed 80 pounds at birth. She has already gained more than 100 pounds and now weighs 194 pounds. She is on exhibit daily from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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About Black Rhinoceros (source: International Rhino Foundation, www.rhinos.org)

The black rhinoceros has two horns, with the front one being the larger of the two. They can weigh up to 3,000 pounds and be 5.5 feet tall at shoulder height and up to 12.5 feet long if you include the head and body. The black rhino has a prehensile lip that is well-suited for grasping branches, leaves and shrubs. This is the species’ most distinguishing characteristic. The black rhino lives in Africa, primarily in grasslands, savannahs and tropical bush lands. Female rhinos reach maturity at four to seven years of age while males reach maturity at seven to ten years. The term ‘black rhino’ is believed to come about because of the color of the soil the rhino covers itself with while wallowing in the mud. Unlike the white rhino, black rhinos are only semi-social and do not live in herds. Between 1970 and 1992, the wild population of this species has decreased by 96 percent. Rhinos are poached for their horns which are falsely perceived to have medicinal value in some cultures.

The black rhinoceros has been named one of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums 10 SAFE species. Learn more here: https://www.aza.org/SAFE-black-rhino

Pictures and Videos, including video of the birth located here: https://goo.gl/t0h8Bu

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