CLEVELAND — An Eastern black rhino celebrated her first birthday at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Thursday.
Lulu was born on Feb. 7, 2018 to mom, Kibibbi. She was the sixth Eastern black rhino born at the zoo.
The zoo says Lulu has grown 850 pounds in just one year.
During her first year she has been in the spotlight many times.
First, a naming contest was held after birth and the name Lulu was selected through donations by guests to the Future for Wildlife Fund. The name is unique to the Eastern black rhino’s native regions in Africa and means “gem.”
Then she made her first public debut in April after being behind the scenes since her birth. Guests can now visit Lulu and Kibibbi in the zoo’s African Savanna exhibit.
To commemorate Lulu’s birthday, the zoo shared photos on Facebook of her first mud bath — she was much smaller then.
The zoo says rhinoceros not only find rolling in the mud fun, but also value a good coating of mud to help cool their bodies. The mud also helps protect against biting insects and acts as sunscreen.
Eastern black rhinos are considered critically endangered with less than 750 remaining in the wild because of poaching and habitat loss.