Cincinnati Zoo’s Baby Black Rhino Has a Name! Meet “Ajani Joe”

Posted October 1, 2020

CINCINNATI, OH (October 1, 2020) – Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s month-old baby eastern black rhino will be called “Ajani Joe”!  Almost 300 people purchased shower gifts for the baby rhino for the chance to choose his name and an invitation to attend the Rhino Baby Shower, sponsored by Rhino Wipe. Martha Wolf was the winner, and her name choice was announced this morning during the shower.

“My father’s name is Joe and I wanted to honor him but also to choose a name that was of African origin, since that’s the black rhino’s native land,” said Wolf.  “Ajani means ‘he who wins the struggle’.  My dad has been a rock recently as my mom’s primary caretaker, and I hope the little rhino will be strong like him!”

Ajani Joe’s keepers describe him as spunky and curious.  He has been venturing outside and exploring his yard with confidence.  He is not on a set schedule, but visitors may catch a glimpse of him jumping and playing while his protective mom, Seyia, keeps a watchful eye.

“This little guy is an important ambassador for his species.  Eastern black rhinos are critically endangered, and he is the first of his kind born this year in North America. Only eight others, including his brother, were born in the three years prior.”

Eastern black rhinos, native to Eastern and Central Africa, have two large horns made of keratin that they use for defense, intimidation, and feeding. An adult can weigh anywhere between 1,760 and 3,080 pounds, and newborns (calves) weigh between 73 – 121 pounds. The species is critically endangered due to poaching and habitat loss.  Only an estimated 5,000 black rhinos remain in the world, and approximately 60 are managed by the SSP in 25 AZA Accredited North American Zoos.

Watch the baby rhino grow up!  Zoo memberships offer unlimited visits*, early entry, free parking, and free admission to PNC Festival of Lights.  And, starting today, memberships are 10% OFF!