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Posted by Candice Rennels on 06/30/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              June 30, 2014


CONTACTS: Tara Henson: (405) 425-0219, office; (405) 919-9038, cell; or [email protected]

                  Candice Rennels:(405) 425-0298, office; (405) 412-6172, cell; or [email protected]




       The Oklahoma City Zoo's new male Indian rhinoceros calf, born Saturday, June 21, needs a name!  In response, the Zoo and are giving Oklahomans the chance to vote on a name for the precious pachyderm.

       Participants may cast their vote by visiting or and choosing their favorite name from a list of three names selected by the Zoo’s rhino care team. Voting will take place online and through Friday, July 11, 2014. The winning name will be announced on Monday, July 14, 2014. The three name choices are:

    1. Garjan (gar-zyawn): The name is Hindi for thunder and roaring.  OKC citizens know about Thunder and this little rhino has roared his way into our hearts and is a thunderous success for conservation.
    2. Rupert:  In keeping with a family tradition, the newborn’s grandma was named Penny and his mom is named Nickle (although we call her “Niki”). Rupert is the Zoo’s twist on rupee, the official currency of the Republic of India, and the Keepers’ favorite.
    3. Russell: Why not? Everyone knows a certain basketball player who has passion, flair, energy and might be a little feisty, too, just like the new, little rhino.

       The birth of the baby rhino and naming contest have coincided with the Zoo’s emphasis on rhino conservation and preparations to hosts its annual Bowling For Rhinos fundraiser, sponsored by the Zoo's chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers. This year’s event will be Saturday, July 19, at 7 p.m. at Heritage Lanes in Oklahoma City. Learn more at One hundred percent of the proceeds from Bowling For Rhino benefits rhino conservation projects in Asia and Africa.  With the help of the dedicated citizens of Oklahoma, the Zoo has raised more than $250,000 for rhino conservation through this event. Other Zoo Conservation Action Now initiatives that help rhino conservation include the PanEco Foundation and Lekurriki Conservation Trust through the Northern Rangelands Trust.

       Come on Oklahoma! Let your rhino votes be heard!  And for updates and photos of the new rhino, visit the Zoo's Facebook page at The Zoo is a proud member of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Buildings close at 4:45 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $8 for adults, and $5 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Become a Zoo fan at , or follow us on Instagram and Twitter @okczoo. To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit



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The Zoo is a fully accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Association of Museums (AAM) as both a living museum and a botanical garden. AZA accredited facilities are dedicated to providing excellent care for their plants and animals, a great experience for guests and a better future for all living things.

A New Breath of Fresh Air: As of Nov. 1, 2007, state law prohibits smoking inside zoological parks. Please help us abide by this law by refraining from smoking within the Zoo. Thank you for maintaining a smoke-free environment for all living things!