: In the News : Record-Breaking Rhino Dies at Zoo
Record-Breaking Rhino Dies at Zoo
By Paul O'Hare, Scottish Press Association
26 April 2004
A world record-breaking white rhino has died at a British zoo, it emerged today.
Kruger was put down in his sleeping quarters at Edinburgh Zoo early this morning
with his vets and keepers by his side.
He had been given no hope of recovery after being diagnosed with serious kidney
failure several weeks ago.
The 35-year-old had been a popular attraction since he arrived at the zoo in
He fathered 12 calves with his partner, Umfolozi, a world record for the number
of rhinos born to the same pair.
The initiative was managed as part of a European Endangered Species Programme
for the threatened species.
Darren McGarry, head keeper of the Hoofstock section, led tributes to Kruger,
with whom he worked for 17 years.
He said: "We're absolutely devastated.
"Kruger was a very relaxed animal and had such a nice personality.
"We're really going to miss him, and we know how popular he's been
with thousands of visitors over the years, who will feel the same way we do."
"But we're very proud of what he's achieved for our education programmes
and research, as well as the breeding programme for this endangered species."
Kruger's body will be sent for a full post-mortem examination, after which
it will be delivered to the National Museums of Scotland.
Dr Andrew Kitchener, curator of mammals and birds, said Kruger's remains
will help improve the understanding of the species.
Dr Kitchener said: "Although it is sad that Kruger has died, by studying
his skeleton we can gather important new data about the ageing process in zoo
mammals, which will help zoos and wildlife managers to improve the health and
welfare of living rhinos."
"Being from the wild and of known age, Kruger's skeleton has enormous scientific
value and is one of only three – and the only male – white rhino
skeletons in the collections of the National Museums of Scotland."
Kruger was born in the wild and was gifted to the Zoological Society of London.
He arrived in the Scottish capital from Whipsnade Wild Animal Park in Dunstable,
In the last 30 years, rhino numbers in the wild have dropped from 70,000 to 18,000.
Of that number, it is estimated there are around 11,700 white rhinos.