Kendi the eastern black rhino calf is already on the move and bonding with mom

By Kelli Bender
July 18, 2017 05:06 PM

It’s raining adorable newborns at the Cincinnati Zoo.

The zoo, home to social media superstar Fiona the baby hippo, recently welcomed an eastern black rhino calf.

Seyia the mama rhino gave birth to Kendi on Monday morning, the zoo shared in a press release, the first eastern black rhino calf born at the zoo since 1999.

The mother rhino, who waited 15 months to give birth, was quick to dote on her first child. Cameras in her private enclosure captured Kendi’s birth and the calf’s first moments with mom, which included Kendi’s first steps.

Obviously, Kendi is a quick learner and is sure to pose some friendly competition for current zoo darling Fiona regarding the title “Most Precious Zoo Newborn.” The calf is also an important addition to the overall animal kingdom.

“Every rhino calf born is incredibly important for the population, which includes fewer than 60 in North America. Calves will stay with their mothers for 3-4 years which means that the average female can only have one calf every 5 years,” Christina Gorsuch, curator of mammals at the Cincinnati Zoo, said in the zoo’s release.

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Ignorant to all the buzz surrounding its birth, Kendi has spent the past 24 hours enjoying quality time with mom. Zookeepers have given the family their space to bond, so they have not had the opportunity to confirm the sex of the calf.

The name Kendi, which was chosen by the zoo’s staff, means “the loved one” in Swahili.

If there is one certainty about Kendi’s future, it is that the calf will be loved by all it meets.