Nola the female white rhino at San Diego Zoo Safari Park died, leaving many saddened by her disappearance and less hope that the species will recover from the brink of extinction.
With Nola’s death, there are only three northern white rhinos left in the world. A favorite among staffers at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the female northern white rhino was loved by visitors just as much.
However, an abscess suffered earlier and a bacterial infection took their toll on 41-year-old Nola. After a long time battling old age and her disease and with all medical care, Nola became more ill last week. Everything culminated with the female white rhino’s death. San Diego Zoo Safari Park officials declared that her condition had worsened and in the morning, the decision was made to euthanize the animal to end its suffering.
Nola the female white rhino at San Diego Zoo Safari Park died, leaving only three more northern white rhinos in the world. A critical blow to the species as the two males and one female living in Kenya have little chance of saving the species. All three are guarded relentlessly by armed guards patrolling the premises of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya.
In 1989 the San Diego Zoo Safari Park brought Nola in. Her former home was in the modern Czech Republic. Here, she found a friend, the male northern white rhino named Angalifu. He too died in December last year at the age of 44. While the perspective looks grim for northern white rhinos, the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research is still hopeful.
Researchers here are working closely with the Ol Pejeta Conservancy as well as the Center for Regenerative Medicine with the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla in hopes that something can be done to save the northern white rhinos.
Nola’s death has brought sorrow to many. Last month, while the female white rhino was being kept under observation, lead keeper Jane Kennedy stated that
“with her, every day is a blessing. I would call her a symbol of our purpose. She truly represents what we are all dedicating our lives to”.
Before being taken to the modern-day Czech Republic, Nola had been living in Sudan. When she was only two years old she was captured and taken to the Dvur Kralove Zoo as a breeding loan partnership.
Photo Credits: sandiegozoo.org