There’s a new member of the Atlanta zoo: a white rhinoceros whose name means "sweet potato."
Zoo Atlanta announced that it welcomed “special cargo” on Monday morning (October 11). Kiazi, a 19-year-old female southern white rhino, has officially arrived from the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance in California. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums' White Rhino Species Survival Plan recommended Kiazi relocate to the Peach State, according to Zoo Atlanta. Kiazi will join Mumbles, a 10-year-old male southern white rhino at the zoo. She’ll get settled indoors before guests can see her. Here’s what Zoo Atlanta says about white rhinos:
“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.
“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.”
“We are so excited to welcome Kiazi to Zoo Atlanta,” Jennifer Mickelberg, PhD, Vice President of Collections and Conservation, said in a statement. “Rhinos are animals with an urgent conservation message. We want our Members and guests to get to know Kiazi – and, if they have not already been permanently charmed by him, Mumbles – so that they can understand the things they can do in their daily lives to preserve these extraordinary animals in the wild.”