The Associated Press State & Local Wire
August 10, 2000
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A white rhinoceros died at the Jacksonville
Zoo from an injury thought to have been suffered in a fight with
another of the endangered animals, zoo officials said.
Cera, a 4-year-old female on loan from Memphis, was found with
an injury to her large front horn eight days before she died, zoo
officials said Wednesday.
She was separated from the herd for observation and showed no other
signs of trauma or external injuries, said staff veterinarian Andrew
Teare. She died Sunday.
"She'd been coping quite well for at least a week. She had
been eating and active and responsive," Teare said. "There
may have been something else going on at the end."
Results from a necropsy are pending, but officials believe internal
hemorrhaging or infection probably caused the animal's death.
"It's not uncommon for a rhino to break its horn. They grow
back. It was just a question of keeping the wound clean until it
started to heal and grow a new horn," Teare said.
The rhino, a breeding female, has been in Jacksonville since November
1998 on loan from the Memphis Zoo.
Twelve white rhinos have been born at the Jacksonville Zoo since
1979, including Bogey, in March. The Jacksonville Zoo now has two
males and two females.
The white rhinoceros, which is actually gray, is an endangered
species. It gets its name from the Dutch word for "wide"
to describe its mouth.
Rhinos are native to southern and central Africa and can weigh
as much as 5,000 pounds. Some 55 white rhinos are in zoos in the
United States, with a total worldwide population of about 4,000.