North Carolina Zoo officials and First Lady of North Carolina Kristen Cooper announced the name of the zoo’s new rhinoceros calf’s name on May 4 after an online public poll. Jojo was born on Feb. 24 and is the second female southern white rhino born at the zoo this year.
Bull rhino Stormy and cow Linda are the parents of calf Jojo. Her name was chosen from a list provided by zookeepers.
Jojo was named in honor of Sudan rhino caretaker, Joseph Wachira of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. He had visited North Carolina during the RiverRun International Film Festival in 2019 for the showing of “Kifaru,” the film.
Wachira was “deeply honored to hear the news – this is what I believe in and fight for every day-saving rhinos.”
The zoo’s crash (herd) now boasts a total of ten rhinos roaming the 40-acre Watani Grasslands habitat.
Conservation, including the zoo’s global protection efforts, brought the southern white rhino from near extinction down to nearly threatened. Rhinos have no natural predators, but they were hunted for their keratin-rich horns. There are currently around 20,000 southern white rhinos left in the wild, mostly in the southern Africa region.
The North Carolina Zoo has suspended operations until further notice due to the new coronavirus pandemic. So, the zoo has provided a new Virtual Visit Program.
Visit NCZoo.org for updates on operations and more information.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy: (Ol-peh-jet’-tah)
Joseph Wachira (Wah-she-rah)
Written by Sandhills Sentinel Journalism Intern Stephanie M. Sellers.
Picture via North Carolina Zoo.