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Potter Park Zoo's Baby Black Rhino Gets A "Jolly" Name

Jaali the baby rhino photo
Courtesy photo
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Potter Park Zoo
Black rhinos are critically endangered. Jaali was born in Lansing on Christmas Eve.

The black rhino baby born at Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo on Christmas Eve now has a name.

Black rhinos are critically endangered, so when the 12-year-old female named Doppsee at Potter Park Zoo gave birth to a male calf, it made national headlines.

To choose a name for the baby, the zoo named six finalists that people could vote for with a donation of $5. The contest brought in more than $11,000.

Jaali the rhino with mother Doppsee photo
Credit Courtesy photo / Potter Park Zoo
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Potter Park Zoo
Jaali is bonding with his mother, Doppsee.

Azizi and Reggie led the way for a while, but in the end, Jaali was the winner.

The zoo's animal care supervisor, Pat Fountain, says “we really like the name. It is a Swahili name, and it does mean ‘powerful,’ so it’s also very fitting for a rhino.”

Fountain says Jaali and mother Doppsee are both doing great. He expects the public will be able to see Jaali starting sometime in the spring.

This was the Potter Park Zoo’s first black rhino birth in its 100 year history.

Cameras are recording Jaali’s development 24-hours a day, and milestone videos are being shared by the zoo on social media.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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