Best Of 2019

Best New Zoo Baby: Kendi the black rhino

Move over, Fiona (don’t, really; we still love you): Kendi the black rhino is gunning for the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s sassy baby spotlight. In October, the black rhinoceros tot nipped the index finger of a guest who was on a behind-the-scenes tour with zoo staff. The guy was fine and walked away with minor injuries while the spunky Kendi took the “all publicity is good publicity” idiom by the horns and stole 15 minutes of fame from everyone’s favorite hippopotamus. However, Kendi, whose name means “the loved one” in Swahili, should have a fan club in her own right: Mama Seyia gave birth to Kendi in July 2017 and she was the first black rhino born at the zoo since 1999. Listed as critically endangered, the International Rhino Foundation says there are less than 5,500 black rhinos in the wild because of threats like poaching — the animal’s horns are highly sought after in traditional medicine and to craft accessories — so maybe it’s a good thing little Kendi’s packing some attitude. If you want to help rhino conservation efforts, the zoo sells Rhino Rembrandts, original works of art painted by their Sumatran, black or Indian rhinos as an enrichment activity. Money raised through the artwork directly helps the zoo support conservation initiatives. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.