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Rhino Mom Welcomes Newest Addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Family

Matt Hohne

by , Animal Operations Director, Disney’s Animal Programs

We are very pleased to announce that a white rhino calf, a boy (no name yet—the team is still deciding), was born May 4 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Disney photographer Gene Duncan stopped by to take some photos, and we’re happy to share them with you.

Disney Photographer Gene Duncan Captures Shots of Disney's Animal Kingdom's Newest White Rhino

Disney Photographer Gene Duncan Captures Shots of Disney's Animal Kingdom's Newest White Rhino Disney Photographer Gene Duncan Captures Shots of Disney's Animal Kingdom's Newest White Rhino Disney Photographer Gene Duncan Captures Shots of Disney's Animal Kingdom's Newest White Rhino
Disney Photographer Gene Duncan Captures Shots of Disney's Animal Kingdom's Newest White Rhino Disney Photographer Gene Duncan Captures Shots of Disney's Animal Kingdom's Newest White Rhino Disney Photographer Gene Duncan Captures Shots of Disney's Animal Kingdom's Newest White Rhino

This birth was the fourth for mom, Kendi, a 13-year-old white rhino, who was the first rhino born at the park. A rhino birth is a significant event because at one time the species was nearly extinct. As a result of conservation efforts and careful management, the species has grown to number approximately 20,150 worldwide, with 215 residing in North American zoological parks.

The success of our white rhino breeding program has enabled our animal care team to make a direct contribution to the conservation of white rhinos in the wild. In 2006, Nande and Hasani, two rhinos born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, traveled to Africa to join four others at Ziwa Sanctuary in Uganda, where they are helping to reestablish a population that had been extinct since the 1980s. In 2009, Nande became the first white rhino to give birth in Uganda in 27 years; she gave birth to a second calf last year.

Disney Photographer Gene Duncan Captures Shots of Disney's Animal Kingdom's Newest White Rhino

Our new calf currently is bonding with mom in their backstage home and will join the other rhinos on the savanna of the Kilimanjaro Safaris in the coming weeks.

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and the Disney Foundation have provided more than $1 million in support to programs in Africa and Asia to protect the last five remaining species of rhino.

Comments

  • Soooo cute….as he was born on May 4th my family also thought he should have a Star Wars…we came up with ‘Naboo’ Can’t wait to see him when we come to visit from the UK in October…he’ll be a bit bigger by then though!!

  • How about Ryan the Rhino,that would be a great name.He looks fantastic,esp with his mom.The personal at Animal Kingdom once again have done a GREAT job.

  • Oops! Nub in Swahili is ‘DHATI’ … but the meaning of dhani’ would work just as honorably.

  • My autistic daughter just came up with a fantastic name … Nub. Nub for the horn nub he was born with and to honor his extinct cousin the Nubian rhino. There is a Swahili word for ‘nub’, DHANI I think.

  • Or maybe Mrembo … beautiful person.

  • Hasani … it’s the Swahili word for handsome and is a boy’s name.

  • Awww, what a cute little guy! I hope the Animal Care Staff chooses a Swahili name for him.

  • Aww! Congratulations to Kendi. We were actually at the park on 5/4. We did the safari on this day. While on the safari there was a rhino standing in our path not letting us through. Once we finally got him out of the way he went over and butted heads with another rhino. I wonder if this was Daddy Rhino looking for his new baby! :) Fun times at Animal Kingdom!

  • Aww! He is so cute and a little funny with out his horns. I can’t believe how successful you are with your breeding program. YAY!

  • That is the most adorable baby ever!

  • This is wonderful news! The success of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s breeding programs is a clear indicator that the animals at Animal Kingdom are comfortable and happy in their environment, and it’s wonderful to see! Congratulations to Kendi – she and the little guy are both beautiful! – and congratulations to the amazing staff at Animal Kingdom for this realization of all their hard work!

    As for a name, I kind of have to agree with those who are in favor of a Star Wars name – great stuff!

  • Yay! Congrats. You need to let us know as soon as he is named. Maybe a male form of Kyra?:). Just kidding.

  • I love how in that bottom photo it’s like the photographer called their names and they looked over at the same time. The expressions on those rhino faces…so human.

  • He needs a Star Wars name!

    May the Fourth be with you!

  • Such a cutie, my kids say he looks like Nubbs!

  • Repopulating endangered species in the rest of the world with births at AK? How awesome is that…. nice Disney!

  • This is so cool! Congrats, Kendi.

  • So cute! I hope we see him when we go to WDW in a few months!

  • A Star Wars name would be so appropriate for this new born since its birth date was 5/4… “May the fourth be with you!”

  • I am sorry above typo…
    We lost our Grady the same date May 4, 2012.
    Thanks Again

  • Name him “Grady”
    He looks like a “Grady”

    (also it would be a memorial for our 14 year old cat “Grady” we lost the same day April 4, 2012… We come every year and our children would love the honor of him having the same name… Just a suggestion.

    Thanks For Considering…
    “Grady” is a Great Name.

    • Thanks for the suggestions for a name. I’ll pass them along to the team!

  • Wow. That is too cute.

    • We think he’s really cute too! He and mom are both doing great.

  • Congrats Kendi! He’s a cutie!

  • Who’d have thought a rhino could be so adorable?? Great article Matt!

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