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Submit name suggestions now for the Rhino Sweet Sixteen Bracket

ATLANTA – March 7, 2024 – Zoo Atlanta’s rhino calf needs a name, and March is Rhino Naming Madness at the Zoo! Starting on Thursday, March 7, 2024, rhino fans near and far are encouraged to submit names and subsequently vote in four rounds to help determine the name of the calf in a historic Sweet Sixteen Bracket to name the first southern white rhino ever born at Zoo Atlanta.

The Zoo’s Rhino Care Team has already entered nine names of their own, and seven names will be selected from the public to be entered into the Sweet Sixteen. Zoo Atlanta’s naming committee will select the seven names that move forward from the pool of public submissions. Seedings for the matchups will be selected at random. Name suggestions may be submitted here through 11 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 10.

Following the confirmation of the Sweet Sixteen selections, four rounds of public voting will begin: Round 1, opening at 1 p.m. on March 20 and continuing until 11:59 p.m. EST on March 26; Round 2, opening at 1 p.m. EST on March 27 and continuing until 11:59 p.m. EST on April 2; Round 3, opening at 1 p.m. EST on April 3 and continuing until 11:59 p.m. EST on April 7; and Round 4, opening at 1 p.m. EST on April 8 and continuing until 11:59 p.m. EST on April 10.

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

Arriving on Christmas Eve in the early evening hours of December 24, 2023, the 10-week-old female calf now weighs between 350 and 400 pounds and has recently begun making exploratory visits into the Delta Air Lines Rhino Habitat with her mother, Kiazi, with other recent milestones including “baby’s first mud wallow” in late February. While there is not yet a guarantee of seeing the calf, many Zoo Atlanta Members and guests have recently been treated to sightings.

For full Rhino Naming Madness contest details, stay tuned here on, and check out Zoo Atlanta Facebook and Instagram for regular bracket updates. Members and guests will also be able to see the updated brackets with a peek into the indoor portion of the rhino complex.

Southern white rhinos, which are the largest of the five rhino species, are not actually white, despite their name. The moniker 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 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 medical properties, although rhino horns are made of keratin – the same substance found in human hair and fingernails – and have no known medicinal value.

Stay tuned for exciting updates on the calf’s naming. Plan a visit at

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