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Tue May 31 09:48:43 SAST 2016

Aquila’s orphan rhino has a name

TMG Digital | 10 February, 2016 14:19
The latest white rhino calf at Aquila private game reserve, which was born on December 16, sticks close to mom as it explores its new fynbos world
Image by: ESA ALEXANDER

The rhino calf born and abandoned by its mother on New Year’s eve at Aquila private game reserve in the Western Cape now has a name.

“Osita” has been chosen by the public as the favourite name for the orphaned rhino.

An sms competition was held where members of the public were asked to suggest names. A short list of six names were selected and the public was asked to vote for their favourite.

Of Nigerian (Igbo) origin and meaning “from today onwards it will be better”‚ the name chosen has certainly proven befitting.

Now weighing over 100kgs and gulping down over 20 litres of equine milk formula every day at three-hourly feeds‚ little Osita has proven to be strong‚ boisterous‚ mischievous and inquisitive and in the words of his carer‚ Divan Grobler‚ “walks to the beat of his own drum”.

The rhino goes on two hour walks in the afternoon and shorter walks during the mornings. He is being prepared to be moved to a larger boma and to meet his new animal companion. Guests visiting Aquila are taken past his boma on game drives and if not sleeping‚ the little fellow can be seen enjoying a mud bath‚ pushing his carer around or having a feed.

Entrants that nominated the selected names‚ each won a day trip safari for their family and the overall winner has won an overnight stay for their family.

An informal naming ceremony will be held at the reserve on Valentine’s day.

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