UPDATE: Officials with the zoo say fans decided to name the rhino ‘Rupert,’ which was also the zoo keeper’s favorite.
The name received 4,244 votes and sticks with the family tradition.
Russell came in second with 28 percent of the vote, followed by Garjan with 21 percent.
To celebrate his new name, the zoo will hold a party for Rupert on Saturday, July 19.
The first 300 children to enter the turnstiles on Saturday and Sunday will receive party favors.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Fans now have the chance to name Oklahoma City’s newest addition.
The baby rhino was born last month at the zoo but is still without a name.
Guests have the choice between three names.
Garjan (gar-zyawn) is Hindi for thunder and roaring. Organizers say they came up with the idea from fans’ enthusiasm for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Rupert is the zoo’s twist on rupee, which is the official currency of the Republic of India. It is a family tradition for the rhinos. The newborn’s grandmother was named Penny and his mother is named Nickle.
Russell is in honor a certain basketball player who has passion, flair, energy and is even a little feisty.
Guests can vote for their favorite name on the Oklahoma City Zoo’s website.
The winner will be announced on Monday, July 14.
OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s a rhino!
Niki, the Zoo’s 7-year-old female, greater one-horned Indian rhinoceros gave birth at 5:20 p.m. on Saturday, June 21.
Mom Niki came to the Zoo in 2009 from the Bronx Zoo and father Chandra, 28, has been at the Zoo since 1990. The new male calf is the first offspring for Niki and the fourth Indian rhino born at the Zoo since the Zoo added the species in 1981.
The gestation period for Indian rhinos is approximately 16 months.
The average birth weight for an Indian rhino calf is 120 pounds. Newborn Indian rhinos lack the distinctive horn of the adult rhino. Instead, they have a flat, smooth oval plate that eventually forms into a horn.
Both mother and baby are doing well and are experiencing an important bonding phase.
“The first few days after birth are most important,” said Laura Bottaro, Zoo curator. “During this time, the calf begins to nurse regularly and the mother learns how to nurture her calf. Zoo staff is monitoring the pair around the clock and the Pachyderm building may be closed for a few days to allow some quiet time.”
Zoo guests may or may not be able to see Niki and her calf over the next few days. This will be determined by the comfort level of the animals and their behavior.