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Make your picks now in Round 1 of public voting  

WHAT: Herds of humans have already made their picks in a historic Sweet Sixteen Bracket to name the first southern white rhino ever born at Zoo Atlanta. Round 1 of public voting opened on March 20, 2024, with more than 2,200 votes already cast as of today.  

Zoo Atlanta received more than 4,000 online submissions between March 7 and March 10, when the public was invited to suggest names to compete with nine monikers provided by the Zoo’s Rhino Care Team. Zoo Atlanta’s naming committee selected seven names from the pool of public submissions to form the Sweet Sixteen.  

Voting for Round 1 continues until 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 26. Round 2 opens at 1 p.m. EST on March 27 and continues until 11:59 p.m. EST on April 2. Round 3 opens at 1 p.m. EST on April 3 and continues until 11:59 p.m. on April 7. Round 4 opens at 1 p.m. EST and continues until 11:59 p.m. EST on April 10.  

The winning name will be announced by Zoo Atlanta on April 11.  

Visit the Rhino Naming Madness page here on to vote or to download your own bracket. Members and guests can also see the updated brackets just outside the indoor portion of the Delta Air Lines Rhino Habitat.  

Arriving on Christmas Eve in the early evening hours of December 24, 2023, the 12-week-old female calf has begun making exploratory visits into the habitat with her mother, Kiazi, with other recent milestones including “baby’s first mud wallow.” While there is not yet a guarantee of seeing the calf, many visitors have recently been treated to sightings. 

Southern white rhinos, which are the largest of the five rhino species, are not actually white, despite their name. The name is believed to have originated with the Afrikaans word wyd, meaning “wide” – a reference to the shape of white rhinos’ upper lips.  

The species is currently classified as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). While poaching for their horns is a serious issue for all rhinos and has already resulted in the extinctions and near-extinctions of some rhino species, southern white rhinos are especially vulnerable because they often travel in herds in the wild, a behavior that makes it easier for poachers to locate them. Powdered rhino horn is believed by some cultures to possess medicinal properties, although rhino horns are made of keratin – the same substance found in human hair and fingernails – and have no known medicinal value.  

Learn more or plan a visit at 


Rachel Davis
Director of Communications

Gavin Johnson
Public Relations and Communications Specialist

About Zoo Atlanta
A proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the gold standard for animal care and welfare, Zoo Atlanta has a mission to save wildlife and their habitats through conservation, research, education, and engaging experiences. The Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals representing more than 200 species from around the world, many of them endangered or critically endangered. Highlights include giant pandas.; one of North America’s largest zoological populations of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Recent transformations include the African Savanna, featuring new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, warthogs, meerkats, and rhinos; Savanna Hall, a state-of-the-art special event destination in the restored historic former home of the Atlanta Cyclorama; and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Plaza. For more information, visit

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