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Great Plains Zoo Invites Public to Name Rhino Calf


November 9, 2016

The Great Plains Zoo is inviting the public to help select a name for the rare Eastern Black Rhino calf born at the Zoo in September. From November 9 – 21, adults and children will be able to choose from five traditional African names selected by the Zoo’s animal care staff for the male calf.

People can cast their vote for their favorite name for just $1 per entry with all proceeds going to benefit the International Rhino Foundation. Votes can be cast online at, in the lobby of the Great Plains Zoo, or by texting “RhinoBaby” to 52182. The name that receives the most donations will be given to the Rhino calf, and the public is allowed to vote as many times as they wish for their preferred moniker. The name choices include the following:

  • Bomani (bo-MAHN-ee) meaning “great warrior”,
  • Komati (KO-mah-tee) is a river in South Africa,
  • Khari (KHAH-ree) meaning “like a king, kingly”,
  • Kirabo (Kee-rah-boe) meaning “gift”,
  • Kemi (Kem-ee) meaning “spoil me with love”.

“Naming an Eastern Black Rhino is a special and unique experience for everyone involved,” said Elizabeth A. Whealy, President and CEO of the Great Plains Zoo.  “We hope that as people select a name for the calf, they are inspired to learn more about Rhinos and how they can help protect these extremely endangered animals.”

With the calf and his parents, Jubba and Imara, the Great Plains Zoo now holds three of only 58 Eastern Black Rhinos in North America. It is estimated that fewer than 740 Eastern Black Rhinos are left in the wild, and they are considered to be a critically endangered species. The male calf is the third Rhino born at the Zoo, and was the first Eastern Black Rhino born as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquarium’s (AZA) endangered species breeding program since 2014.

The Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Visit the Zoo online at or call 605-367-7003 for more information about the Zoo and Museum.

  • Love this zoo! Great place to get a walk in and the animals are everywhere! The museum/indoor part is very educational too. Has a lot of shade for when it's hot out. Very clean. Friendly staff.

    Taylor F.
  • We love to visit the zoo. They have great outdoor exhibits and lots to do inside as well. Great for kids and adults.

    Robin A.
  • Lots of great exhibits and animals to see! Fun gift shop and learning center.

    Stephanie N.
  • The museum gives you a break from the sun on hot summer days and has a great selection of animal exhibits from around the world. ¬†The zoo keeps growing and adding new animal habitats or improving existing ones. ¬†Membership offers reciprocal benefits to other zoos around the country.

    Bill T.