Extremely rare white rhino dies at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

November 23, 2015 9:00 am

 

Nola, a 41-year-old female, has been at the park since 1989. Photo / AP

One of only four northern white rhinos believed left in the world died Sunday at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Nola,
a 41-year-old female who has been at the park since 1989, was
euthanized after her health took a turn for the worse, a zoo statement
said.
The geriatric rhino had arthritis and other ailments and
was being treated for a bacterial infection linked to an abscess in her
hip.
Nola had surgery on November 13 to drain the abscess but her
health began to deteriorate about a week ago; her appetite faltered and
she became listless.
She worsened over the past 24 hours and vets decided they had to euthanize her, according to the zoo in Escondido.
“Nola was an iconic animal, not only at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, but worldwide,” the park statement said.
The remaining three northern white rhinos, all elderly, are in a closely guarded preserve in Kenya.

The subspecies has been decimated by poachers, who kill the
rhinos for their horns. The horns are in high demand in parts of Asia
where some people claim they have medicinal properties for treating
everything from hangovers to cancer.
In an effort to preserve the
species, the San Diego zoo took possession earlier this month of six
female southern white rhinos from South Africa.
Zoo researchers
are working on developing northern white rhino embryos to be implanted
in the six new arrivals, who will serve as surrogate mothers.
Researchers
have said they hope a northern white rhino calf could be born from a
San Diego surrogate mother within 10 to 15 years.

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