June 6, 2001
LOS ANGELES - Herman, the oldest male Indian rhinoceros in a North
American zoo, was put down Thursday at the Los Angeles Zoo.
The 36-year-old, 4,500-pound rhino was suffering from severe foot
lesions that would not heal, blindness, digestive problems and lameness
in his right hind leg, the zoo said.
"It was a difficult decision, but everyone knew that he was
an old guy with a lot of pain and discomfort," zoo veterinarian
Marnie Lamm said in a statement.
Herman was a yearling when he was captured in northern India. He
was also one of the original animals brought to the then-new Los
Angeles Zoo in 1966 from the city's old zoo in Griffith Park.
Because Herman's genes were important to the Indian rhinoceros
population, sperm was taken before he was euthanized, the zoo said.
It will be used to impregnate Indian rhinos under the American Zoo
and Aquarium's Species Survival Plan.
The zoo had to put down two of its black rhinos because of health
problems in the last 11 months.