Nola, San Diego Zoo’s northern white rhino, dies; only three left in captivity

23 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Nola, 1 of 4 remaining northern white rhinos, passes away.

Nola had been under veterinary care for a bacterial infection that stemmed from a pelvic abscess, as well as “age-related health issues”, a zoo press release said. Keepers had been watching Nola around-the-clock since earlier this week when they noticed she began showing signs of a reduced appetite and activity level.

Nola, a 41-year-old female that has lived at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park since 1989, was euthanized this morning after she stopped eating and her activity levels dropped. In the last 24 hours Nola’s condition worsened significantly and the animal care team at the Safari Park were maintaining her on intensified treatment efforts.

The newspaper said Nola’s death left only three northern white rhinos in the world – all at a sanctuary in Kenya, protected from poachers by around-the-clock armed guards. But her condition began rapidly deteriorating on Saturday, and the decision was made to euthanize her. “It sounds corny, but with her, every day is a blessing,” lead keeper Jane Kennedy said last month, when she and her fellow Safari Park staff members were keeping an eye on Nola’s condition. “I would call her a symbol of our purpose. I was impressed yet again that there is a depth to their lives that we don’t understand.” The hope was that Nola would mate with Angalifu, the Safari Park’s northern white rhino male.

But she loved her pedicures and her back scratches and hanging out in her 65-acre African Plains habitat with the equally sociable Chuck, who was very eager to track her whereabouts when Nola was getting her abscess drained last week. “They are like the elderly couple who met late in life and became friends,” Kennedy said of Chuck and Nola. “I’ve known Nola for 26 years, and she is truly, truly one of the sweetest animals I have ever worked with.” With neither of the Ol Pejeta northern white females able to give birth naturally due to advanced age or reproductive issues, it is up to science to save the sub-species.

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