11 February 2016
A rhino calf, abandoned by its mother on New Year’s Eve in the Aquila Private Game Reserve in the southern Karoo, has been named Osita, a name of Nigerian (Igbo) origin and meaning “from today onwards it will be better”.
The public was invited to suggest names, which were shortlisted to the following six:
- Nusura: meaning “escaped death” or “survivor” in Swahili;
- Osita: (Osita di nma) meaning “from today onwards it will be better” in Igbo;
- Kito: meaning “a rare find, valuable and beautiful” in Swahili;
- Orion: the rhino was found with the constellation Orion’s Belt directly above it;
- Bijoux: meaning “rare jewel” in French; and,
- Bahati: meaning “good fortune” in Swahili
A SMS line was set up for people to vote for their favourite name.
The game reserve said life would certainly be better for Osita. “Now weighing over 100 kilograms and gulping down over 20 litres of equine milk formula every day at three hourly feeds, he is strong, boisterous, mischievous and inquisitive.”
Watch Osita run and play here:
Osita’s handler, Divan Grobler, said the calf “walks to the beat of his own drum”.
People who submitted the shortlisted names each won a day-trip safari, and the winner won a one-night stay at the lodge.
Osita will have an informal naming ceremony on Valentine’s Day in the morning.