Say hello to Joona!
Just in time for the Denver Zoo's greater one-horned rhino calf's 2-month birthday, she has received her special name! The zoo announced on April 22 that the little one's adorable new name is Joona, as voted by her fans.
"Meet Joona! In Nepalese culture, Joona means "treasure" or "joyful in nature" and we think that's just perfect for Tensing's little girl," said the zoo on its Facebook page.
Zoo supporters were able to vote on their favorite of three options, Talli, Joona, or Pemba, and make a donation to the zoo. A portion of the funds raised will be donated to the International Rhino Foundation, which is dedicated to the survival of the world’s rhino species through conservation and research.
Joona joined the zoo family in late February, and she is the first calf of 13-year-old Tensing. It took several tries for Tensing to conceive via artificial insemination, and her pregnancy lasted about 15 months long!
It honestly doesn't get cuter than this little darling! Check out her first steps out in the yard! She is certainly a handful for her patient mom.
Joona's birth is a big step for the vulnerable greater one-horned rhino species. In the wild, the rhinos at one point were at the brink of extinction, with only 200 animals estimated to be living. Poachers and hunters took a toll on the previously healthy population. Thanks to conservation efforts, there are now an estimated 3,500 greater one-horned rhinos worldwide. The Denver Zoo participates in the Greater One-Horned Rhino Species Survival Plan, which ensures a managed, healthy, genetically diverse population of rhinos that help safeguard the species' survival.
If you want to check out Joona and Tensing on a regular basis, you can check on the Live Baby Rhino Cam! And be sure to come visit once the zoo reopens. Joona is ready to greet her fans!
Did you vote for Joona's new name? Let us know in the comments!