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SOS Rhino : In the News : Archived News : August 2000 : White rhino, on loan from Memphis, dies at Jacksonville Zoo

White rhino, on loan from Memphis, dies at Jacksonville Zoo

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.



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