HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Zoo has announced a contest for naming their newest Eastern black rhinoceros.

The baby rhino was born on Wednesday, April 19. Its mother is named Aria, and its father is named Kendi. Both came from the San Diego Zoo in September and November 2022.

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Zoo visitors are invited to go to the zoo and see all three rhinos on exhibit in the Zoo’s African Savanna where you can watch the baby play.

But best of all, you can help to pick a name for the calf. The calf is currently nursing and has gained over 100 pounds since its birth. It weighs approximately 175 pounds. To give you perspective on how much the baby will grow, his father weighs approximately 2,450 pounds.

“The male baby rhino is healthy and growing and has recently been allowed to venture into the outdoor rhino habitat,” said a spokesperson for the Honolulu Zoo. 

Honolulu Zoo staff have selected three names for the public to choose from:

  • Akamu: Hawaiian for Adam, and since he is a black rhino, this would be similar to the DC Comics character, Black Adam. Also meaning “red dirt” or “of the earth” in Hebrew
  • Ardi: A combination of his parent’s names Aria and Kendi
  • Hiapo: meaning first-born in Hawaiian

You can watch the baby rhino cam online, or you can go directly to YouTube and search for “Honolulu Zoo rhino cam” into the search field.

“The staff are thrilled to work with and watch the baby rhino grow,” said Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos.

The zoo is distributing three voting donation boxes that will represent each name. These boxes will be set up at Kapahulu Market, the zoo’s food and beverage concession at the center of the zoo.

Zoo visitors will be able to vote in-person during zoo hours or online at until July 9.

Zoo Officials said the winning name will be based on the one that receives the most votes through their donation amount. All donations will go to the Honolulu Zoo Society to support enrichment for the baby rhino.

“They have thoughtfully selected names based on their observations of his personality and character,” said Santos. “We encourage the public to visit the zoo and check out the baby rhino on exhibit or via our live rhino cam online, and to help us pick his name.”

The critically endangered Eastern black rhino is smaller than the other African rhino species, the other being the white rhino. Black Rhinos stand up to five feet high at the shoulder and are approximately twelve feet in length.

Eastern black rhinos can weigh up to 3,000 pounds and have three toes, thick dark brown to gray colored skin and two fibrous keratin horns. They are best distinguished from the white rhino by their pointed, rather than square, upper lip.

They are reported to live up to 35 years in the wild and up to 50 years under human care. 

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The Honolulu Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with zoo grounds closing at 4 p.m. The zoo is closed on Christmas Day.