BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Zoo is offering people the chance to name one of its newest residents – a southern white rhinoceros – as part of a fundraiser.

The rhinoceros is one of two settling into its new home at the African Watering Hole and becoming acquainted with their neighbors, a zebra and an ostrich.

READ MORE: Ravens Marquise Brown Honors Mervo Football Player Who Died Last Week

“We love having the public vote on names for some of our newborn or newly arrived animals,” said Kirby Fowler, president and CEO of the Zoo. “Now that fundraising is more important than ever, we thought that offering a chance for a donor to personally select a name for one of the rhinos would be a great way for someone to create a lasting legacy at the Zoo.”

For each $100 donation made to the zoo, donors are entered in a drawing for a chance to name one of the rhinos. The winning donor will be selected randomly June 2 and also will win a private tour of the rhino barn with the rhino care team. The winner and zoo staff must agree on the name by June 18.

Fowler acknowledges $100 is a lot to ask, but said the money will support the rhinos in several ways. A rhino could eat for three days for each $100 donated, or the money could help fund enrichment items used daily. Donors also can share naming rights with others if they choose to split the donation, he said.

READ MORE: Ravens Shut Down Herbert, Chargers In 34-6 Victory

Southern white rhinos are classified as “near threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the world’s leading conservation organization. Their numbers have improved significantly since the early 20th century when they were thought to be extinct, but their future in the wild is far from guaranteed. Southern white rhinos live almost exclusively in the country of South Africa, inhabiting the grassland and savannas.

The Maryland Zoo has housed rhinos since the African Watering Hole opened in 1992.

For full details about the naming contest fundraiser, please visit http://www.marylandzoo.org/rhinoname.

MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 800 New Cases & 5 Deaths Reported Sunday

 

CBS Baltimore Staff