NC Zoo loses rare white rhino who beat the odds
A southern white rhinoceros named Stanley who lived at the N.C. Zoo for the past 30 years died on Friday, a few weeks after suffering from an apparent stroke.
Stanley was 49. In announcing his death, the zoo said most rhinos in the wild don’t live longer than their early 30s and that even rhinos under human care seldom survive beyond 45.
Stan, as he was known, came to the N.C. Zoo from a private zoo in New Hampshire in 1987 with a female named Olivia. It was hoped they would produce offspring together, but they never did. Olivia, 51, survives, living in the non-public barn she shared with Stan during their retirement years, said zoo spokeswoman Debbie Foster Fuchs.
Southern white rhinos live in the savannahs and grasslands of southern Africa. They were hunted to near extinction in the early 20th century. Their population has since rebounded to about 20,000, though zoo officials note that they still face threats from poaching and the loss of habitat.
Rhinos are the second largest land mammals after elephants.
Besides Olivia, the zoo has five adult southern white rhinos — four females and one male — and two six-month-old females who were born last year, the first rhinos born at the zoo in 41 years.
Stan was born in a game reserve in South Africa in 1970. Zoo officials say he showed signs of neurological disease following the stroke and that his health declined markedly this week. He was euthanized on Friday.
The zoo is accepting donations to support rhino conservation in remembrance of Stan at its website, www.nczoo.com/ support-conservation -and-research/
A southern white rhino named Stanley who lived at the N.C. Zoo for the last 30 years died on Friday.