The rhino calf has a name: Jabari!
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Swahili word for “fearless” is chosen in honor of longtime Zoo supporters
A youngster of many distinctions – including the first rhino calf born in Zoo Atlanta’s 124-year history and the undisputed heavyweight of the Zoo’s 2013 nursery class, at more than 330 pounds – finally has a name. The male eastern black rhinoceros calf born to Andazi on August 17, 2013, has been named Jabari.
Longtime Zoo supporters Cecelia and David Ratcliffe and their children were given the opportunity to name the calf in honor of their family’s many contributions as friends and leaders at Zoo Atlanta. They selected the name Jabari, which means “fearless” in Swahili.
“We’re proud to announce such a fitting name for such a special piece of Zoo Atlanta history. This species is known for its size and power. The name ‘Jabari’ exemplifies those traits, as well as the fortitude and hope of the zoological community as we work to ensure that rhinos don’t become extinct on our watch,” said Raymond B. King, President and CEO. “We’re delighted to be able to honor Cecelia and David Ratcliffe and their children, whose commitment to the Zoo continues to be invaluable.”
Hunted almost to extinction in the 1980s, eastern black rhinoceros populations have experienced near-catastrophic declines in recent years, largely as a result of poaching for their horns, skin and other body parts, which are believed by some cultures to have medicinal value. Conservation programs and stringent patrolling of rhino habitat have helped populations increase to about 4,800 in the wild, but the species remains critically endangered. The eastern black rhino’s relative, the western black rhino, was declared extinct in 2011.
Jabari and his mother, Andazi, are on exhibit now in the Zoo’s African Plains. Jabari’s father, Utenzi, will not share space with his son; black rhinos are solitary in the wild, and fathers play no role in the rearing of offspring.