HONOLULU — A male black rhinoceros named Kendi has just arrived at the Honolulu Zoo. 

What You Need To Know

  • The zoo's new black rhino is 5 years old and weighs 2,205 pounds

  • His name is Kendi, and he comes to Honolulu from San Diego

  • Kendi joins Aria, a female black rhino, and the zoo hopes that they will breed

  • Black rhinos are critically endangered and have been hunted for their horns

Kendi, who is 5, came from the San Diego Safari Park, according to a news release from the City and County of Honolulu. To get to the Honolulu Zoo, Kendi, who weighs 2,205 pounds, flew from California to Hawaii with Pacific Air Cargo and on his drive from the airport he was escorted by the Honolulu Police Department.

"We are very grateful for Pacific Air Cargo’s generous contributions and commitment to animal conservation, and team of staff who assisted with Kendi’s transport, making this the fifth complimentary transport (two giraffes, a hippo and two rhinos) since 2020,” said Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos in the news release. “We appreciate the assistance provided by the staff of San Diego Zoo Safari Park who accompanied Kendi on his transport, and along with the Honolulu Police Department’s escort team, we are pleased that our new black rhino, has arrived safely at the Honolulu Zoo." 

Kendi joins Aria, a female rhino, that arrived at the Honolulu Zoo in September. The rhino pair will live in the newly renovated rhino exhibit in the African Savanna at the Honolulu Zoo. The zoo hopes the two rhinos will produce baby rhinos.

"We were very fortunate to have a mate identified for the Honolulu Zoo’s female rhino, Aria, who was sent to us in late September from San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The staff have anxiously awaited Kendi’s arrival to reunite him with Aria," Santos said. 

In Dec. 2021, the Honolulu Zoo’s 26-year-old female black rhinoceros named Satsuki died due to complications associated with illness and age. Three months later, her companion Corky, a 35-year-old male black rhinoceros, was euthanized due to complications associated with renal failure. The average lifespan of a black rhino is 35 to 50 years.    

Eastern black rhinos are native to sub-Saharan Africa, but their habitat has shrunk, and they are now mostly found in Kenya and Tanzania. Eastern black rhinos are the smaller of the two rhino species, the other being the white rhino. Although they are called black rhinos, the species is more of a brown-gray color. Black rhinos weigh up to 3,000 pounds, have three toes and two keratin horns. They are mostly solitary animals, but the mother and calf have a strong bond. 

The species is critically endangered. The population declined during the 1900s because of European hunters and settlers. They are still targeted by poachers for their two horns, which can grow as long as 5 feet.  

Michelle Broder Van Dyke covers the Hawaiian Islands for Spectrum News Hawaii. Email her ideas and feedback at michelle.brodervandyke@charter.com.