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Cabarrus Magazine

Public Poll Helps The North Carolina Zoo Name White Rhino Calf

Aug 14, 2018 02:44PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Courtesy of the North Carolina Zoo.

Earlier in July 2018, the North Carolina Zoo reached out through their Twitter page to the public asking for help in naming the soon-to-be-born white rhino. Their post read, "Take the poll and help us name our baby southern white rhino!"

The white rhino calf was born on July 2, 2018 and was the first rhino born at the Zoo in 41 years. Her parents are Linda and Stormy.

The public was invited to choose between several name options, which were: Nandi, Mamba, Diana, Boadicea, Grace O’Malley, Penelope and Wilhelmina. Knowing that the calf was going to be female, all names were inspired by strong female leaders throughout both history as well as mythology. 

However, the Zoo didn't stop there when it came to choosing a name. The top three names were narrowed down -- Nandi, Mamba and Diana -- and then Stormy, the father, was given the task of choosing the final name.

According to the Zoo's press release, Stormy was "given the three choices in African inspired custom-made poles spaced several feet apart from each other that were stuffed with Timothy hay – one of his favorite treats. He immediately trotted over to the pole that was named 'Nandi.'"

And thus, the name was born! Nandi means "a woman of high esteem." The Nandi who inspired the name was the Queen of the Zulus throughout the late 1700s into the beginning of the 1800s. 

Also, eleven days after Nandi was born, the Zoo announced the birth of a second female baby rhino on Friday, July 13 to mom Kit and dad Stormy. The Zoo will offer details about her naming process soon. 

Follow the Zoo on Twitter to keep up with all naming updates, or visit their website at

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