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North Carolina Zoo Announces Name of Baby Rhino Born in January 2020

Posted on 03/05/2020
North Carolina Zoo Announces Name of Baby Rhino Born in January 2020
Photo credit: Moriah Angott/North Carolina Zoo

Asheboro, NC - The North Carolina Zoo is excited to announce the name of the female southern white rhino calf born at the Zoo on Sunday, Jan. 5. She was born to mother Kit and father Stormy.

“Mguu” was the name chosen by Zach Neal, a Zoo employee, from a list of names created by the rhino keepers. The Zoo invited employees to enter a free drawing to choose the name and Zach was the lucky winner. Zach and his family also won a behind the scenes tour with Mguu and the rest of the rhino herd.

Mguu, pronounced (mm-goo), means “feet” in Swahili. This is a fitting name for the calf since she has really big feet, according to her keepers! She is Kit’s second baby, her first being Bonnie, born in 2018.

The Zoo’s herd now boasts a total of nine rhinos, with typically seven roaming the 40-acre Watani Grasslands habitat. Mguu and Kit will be joining the herd on the Watani Grasslands as the temperatures warm up this spring. Mguu marks the third Southern white rhino born at the Zoo in under two years.

At the beginning of the 20th century, southern white rhinos were hunted to near extinction for their horns, which some erroneously believe to provide medicinal benefits. Rhino horn is constructed from keratin, which is the same material that makes up human fingernails and hair.  There are currently around 20,000 southern white rhinos left in the wild, mostly in the southern Africa region.

Today, populations in the wild still face significant threats from poaching and habitat loss. In addition to their work with the rhinos at the North Carolina Zoo, staff work on projects in several countries in Southern Africa to protect wild rhinos from poaching and save the species from extinction. 

About the North Carolina Zoo

At the North Carolina Zoo, we celebrate nature. As the world’s largest natural habitat Zoo, we inspire a lifelong curiosity about animals for the hundreds of thousands of people who visit our Zoo each year. Our dedicated team of experts provides exceptional, compassionate care for the more than 1,800 animals and 52,000 plants that call our Park home. We also lead efforts locally and globally to protect wildlife and wild places because we believe nature’s diversity is critical for our collective future. The North Carolina Zoo invites all of our guests to witness the majesty of the wild in the heart of North Carolina and welcomes everyone to join in our mission to protect nature’s diversity. Visit NCZoo.org to begin your life-changing journey.

About the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call 919- 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.

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