Zoo Atlanta welcomes special new addition to its family

Zoo Atlanta is the city's first zoological venue that opened to the public in April 1889.

Zoo Atlanta welcomed a special addition to its family Monday morning — a 19-year-old female southern white rhino.

Kiazi, whose name means “sweet potato,” came from the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance in California. Her move to Atlanta was recommended by the White Rhino Species Survival Plan (SSP) and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. She will join Mumbles, a male southern white rhino who is 10-year-old, at the Zoo.

The 19-year-old won’t be visible to Zoo members and guests right away. She will first have an opportunity to settle comfortably inside the indoor portion of her new home before exploring her outdoor habitat.

White rhinos are the second-largest land mammal and are actually gray in color, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Their name may come from the Afrikaans’ word “weit”, which means wide, in reference to their mouths. They love rolling around in the mud and can live up to 35 years in the wild and 40 in captivity, National Geographic reports.

While poaching is a serious issue for rhinos, and some species have already become extinct because of it, southern white rhinos are particularly susceptible because they move in herds in the wild, making it easier for poachers to track them down. The white rhinos population dropped 15 percent from 2012 to 2017 because of poaching, according to National Geographic.