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This Tiny Baby Rhino Has a Sweet Name, But the Way Her Dad Chose It Is Even Sweeter


This baby rhino has to be the sweetest animal we’ve seen all day. Little Nandi made her grand debut into the world on July 2 at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. The first rhino born at the zoo in 41 years, she certainly made everyone think long and hard about what her name should be. It’s no wonder the (beautiful) moniker was only just announced at the end of July after much thoughtful consideration.

The zoo invited the public to vote on the perfect name for the newborn rhino earlier this month by offering a selection of baby names — Nandi, Mamba, Diana, Boadicea, Grace O’Malley, Penelope, and Wilhelmina — that all reflected the theme of strong female leaders in history, both factual and mythical. The top three names ended up being Nandi, Mamba, and Diana, so the zoo had the baby’s father, Stormy, make the final call on her name in a super-creative way.

The zoo gave Stormy the three different options in African-inspired poles that were spaced several feet apart from each other and were stuffed with Timothy hay, which is one of his favorite treats. Instantly, the dad rhino made his way over to the one bearing the name Nandi — and we think it’s an absolutely perfect fit.

stormy rhino

Stormy choosing Nandi’s name. (Photo Credit: Betsy Powell)

Nandi, after all, was the Queen of the Zulus in what is now South Africa. Born in the 1760s, Nandi was the mother of Shaka, King of the Zulus. Shaka is considered by some to be one of the greatest Zulu chiefs and African military leaders ever. Some accounts report that Shaka’s establishment of all-female regiments was influenced by his brave mom. Wow — Nandi is certainly a fantastic name!

nandi baby rhino

Baby Nandi. (Photo Credit: Nat LaDonne)

If you love the idea of naming baby rhinos, you’ll be delighted to hear that there is a second newborn female rhino at the zoo, who was born just 11 days after Nandi. The zoo will offer details about the newest rhino’s naming process soon.

We can’t wait to hear what powerful and beautiful name she’ll get after Nandi’s!

Next, see more tiny and adorable animals guaranteed to distract you from your to-do list in the video below:

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