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SOS Rhino : In the News : Archived News : July 2000 : Dying rhino had cancer, zoo officials say

Dying rhino had cancer, zoo officials say

Los Angeles Times
July 19, 2000


Twinkletoes, a rare black rhinoceros that had been at the Los Angeles Zoo more than 30 years and was euthanized Monday after her organs began failing, had cancer, zoo officials said Tuesday.

The 2,000- to 2,500-pound animal had a hematoma in her stomach and was bleeding through a cancerous mass, said Michael Dee, the zoo's general curator.

Twinkletoes was put down Monday after she developed severe health problems over the weekend, he said. She was treated during the weekend and was given fluids intravenously, but her condition took a turn for the worse Monday.

"She probably would have died later in the day," Dee said. "It was difficult to watch her without being able to do anything."

The Los Angeles Zoo has three remaining black rhinos in its collection, Dee said. The zoo also has another three on loan to other zoos, he said. Dee said the species is considered highly endangered, with only about 2,500 black rhinos remaining in the wild in Africa and about 150 in zoos.

Twinkletoes' exact age is unknown, but Dee said she was about 37 years old. She was born in the wild in Kenya in the 1960s and brought to the Los Angeles Zoo in October 1966.



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