(Memphis) A 41-year-old Southern white rhinoceros named Tombi has died, the Memphis Zoo announced Friday.
The zoo says her health “began to dramatically decline earlier this month.”
As soon as they noticed, workers began to closely monitor Tombi’s health and made her as comfortable as they could.
To prevent Tombi experiencing prolonged suffering, the decision was made to humanely euthanize her.
“Tombi has been at the Zoo a long time,” zoo president Chuck Brady said. “She is a beloved part of the Zoo’s history, and was a wonderful animal. She had a great life, and we’re proud of the care we gave her.”
From the Memphis Zoo:
“Tombi was a wild-caught animal that resided in Virginia, before being brought to the Memphis Zoo in April 1976. She joined her new mate, ‘Bacxa,’ in the rhino exhibit. Bacxa died in February 1990, and Tombi’s second mate, ‘Pendullah,’ lovingly referred to as ‘Mugs,’ died in July 2006.
“Over time Tombi developed deep, trusting, loving relationships with her keepers and veterinarians. As she learned, they respected her and she began to trust them.”