In Celebration of World Rhino Day, Sept. 22 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Invites Public to Help Name Newest Southern White Rhino Calf Born at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Jesus Figueroa
(Info from press release)
  • On World Rhino Day (Sept. 22)—and every day—San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance works to bring increased awareness of rhinos, and the importance of conservation efforts to protect these iconic animals. 
  • This year, the Safari Park is celebrating the recent birth of a female southern white rhino calf born on Aug. 22 to first-time mom Kianga, and father J Gregory.
  • San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is inviting the public to help us name this curious and playful calf by visiting the Safari Park Facebook page Sept. 22-28 and commenting on their choice of three names: Kamaria (Cam-mar-e-uh) means beautiful like the moonlight in Swahili; Kifaru (Key-far-roo) means rhino in Swahili; Ilanga (E-long-a) means the sun in Xhosa. The name with the most ‘votes’ will be announced on Sept. 29.
  • The Safari Park is home to greater one-horned rhinos, black rhinos, and southern white rhinos—including the southern white rhino calf born Aug. 22. Baby rhinos are always cute and fun to watch grow—but more importantly, they serve as ambassadors for their species. Seeing a rhino up close allows our guests to connect with them, with the hope they gain a greater appreciation for rhinos, and the vital need to conserve and protect rhinos and their native habitats.
  • There are five species of rhino: white (estimated 18,000) and black (estimated 5,600) in Africa; greater one-horned (estimated 3,600), Javan (estimated 74) and Sumatran (estimated 80) in Asia. Rhino numbers are dwindling, primarily due to poaching and habitat loss. 
  • But not all is doom and gloom. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has been working for more than 40 years, along with other accredited zoos and collaborators worldwide, to conserve rhino populations in many ways—including supporting and funding anti-poaching units; participating in conservation breeding to  keep a sustainable population of rhinos safe under human care while working to protect them in their native habitats; working to bring about awareness of wildlife trafficking and the need for governments to enforce laws prohibiting wildlife crime; and working with local communities in the rhinos’ native habitats to help ensure there is active participation in wildlife conservation.
  • SDZWA’s current rhino conservation focus is dedicated to saving the northern white rhino through innovative reproductive technologies. Only two northern white rhinos remain on earth, residing at a wildlife conservancy in Kenya. Both are females and unable to reproduce naturally. 
  • To further this goal, the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center (NKRRC) was built at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The Rhino Rescue Center is dedicated to the conservation of white rhinos, with a focus on assisted reproductive techniques.
  • Rhinos are very important to the ecosystems in which they reside. Southern white and black rhinos are mega-herbivores, grazing on grasses—which helps maintain the diverse African grasslands, increasing plant diversity and providing grazing areas for other animals that share their natural habitat, such as elephants, zebras, antelope and gazelles.
  • Guests visiting the Safari Park can be see rhinos in savanna habitats from the Africa Tram. Those looking for a unique experience may want to participate in a special visit to see the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center and meet the rhinos on the Rhinos and Friends Behind-the-Scenes Safari, or see rhinos on a Wildlife Safari or Cart Safari. Visit for more information.
  • Conservation is at the heart of everything San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance does each day. It starts with the connection made with our guests and the wildlife they experience on their visit to the Safari Park or Zoo. When wildlife thrives, all life thrives.
  • You can support SDZWA’s important rhino conservation work by becoming an ally for wildlife. Your ticket purchase and purchases made while visiting the Safari Park or Zoo, and/or your tax-deductible gift, helps save wildlife in San Diego and around the globe. For more information, visit

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