CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Zoo’s newest black rhino now has a name.
The one-month-old baby eastern black rhino will be called “Ajani Joe.” About 300 people sent the baby rhino shower gifts for a chance to pick his name. No, Ajani Joe isn't named after Joe Burrow. The winner, Martha Wolf, said she picked a name that honors her own father.
“My father’s name is Joe and I wanted to honor him but also to choose a name that was of African origin, since that’s the black rhino’s native land,” Wolf said. “Ajani means ‘he who wins the struggle’. My dad has been a rock recently as my mom’s primary caretaker, and I hope the little rhino will be strong like him!”
Black rhinos are critically endangered due to poaching and habitat loss, with only an estimated 5,000 remaining in the world today.
Ajani Joe’s keepers describe him as spunky and curious.
“This little guy is an important ambassador for his species. Eastern black rhinos are critically endangered, and he is the first of his kind born this year in North America. Only eight others, including his brother, were born in the three years prior.”
Ajani Joe is not on a set schedule yet, but visitors may catch a glimpse of him jumping and playing with his mom, Seyia.