North Carolina Zoo names baby rhino with help from the community

Unnamed baby rhino (Photo credit Moriah Angott/North Carolina Zoo.)
Unnamed baby rhino (Photo credit Moriah Angott/North Carolina Zoo.)

ASHEBORO, N.C. — The North Carolina Zoo is revealing the name of their new baby rhino chosen by the public through an online poll.

The public got to rank four names chosen by the zoo’s rhino keepers.

The options were Rubybelle, Etosha, Jojo and Kendi.

The North Carolina Zoo and First Lady of North Carolina Kristin Cooper announced the rhino will be named “Jojo.”

Jojo is named after rhino keeper Joseph “Jojo” Wachira of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. Wachira was one of the last caretakers of Sudan, the last male northern white rhino, featured in the documentary film “Kifaru.” 

Wachira’s connection to North Carolina began when he visited the RiverRun International Film Festival in 2019 with North Carolina-based director Andrew Brown for the showing of “Kifaru” in Winston-Salem.

When the zoo told the human Jojo about the name, Wachira said he was “deeply honored to hear the news – this is what I believe in and fight for every day – saving rhinos.”

The baby was born on Feb. 24 to mom Linda and dad Stormy.

She weighed about 80 to 90 pounds at birth.

The zoo says the baby and her mom are doing well.

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