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Columbus Zoo Mourns Passing of Black Rhino, Rosie

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: November 10, 2020 2:20 pm

columbus zoo black rhino passing

Rosie the black rhino in her enclosure

Photo Credit: Amanda Carberry/Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is morning the passing of their eastern black rhinoceros, Rosie. She was humanely euthanized following recent health complications.

At 30 years old Rosie had developed a number of age related health concerns including hypertension and arthritis. Rosie was a model patient and cooperated with her Animal Care team and Animal Health staff for voluntary blood pressure measurements and frequent blood collections.

Rosie was born in January, 1990 at the San Francisco Zoo. She came to the Columbus Zoo during November 2009 as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) program.

At 30 years old she was able to exceed the median lifespan for a captive black rhinoceros which is currently 19 years.

columbus zoo black rhino passing

Rosie the black rhino in her enclosure

Photo Credit: Grahm S. Jones/ Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

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She did not produce any calves but provided an important contribution to research in to rhinoceros reproduction.

Black rhinos are solitary and Rosie was the only rhino to live at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Future plans for her habitat will be announced at a later date.

"The loss of any animal is hard, but Rosie's passing weighs especially heavy on our hearts today as she was special to many. I can't imagine anyone not experiencing an emotional connection with Rosie when they saw her up close. Those experiences were instrumental in leading people to care and get involved with rhino conservation. She was an incredible animal and a wonderful ambassador for rhinos, which face many threats in their native range. She lived a very long life, thanks to the expert care she received, and though we will miss her dearly, her legacy will continue to inspire our work in saving wildlife and wild places," said Columbus Zoo President/CEO Tom Stalf.

Rosie was loved both by her care team and members of the public. She was said to love human interaction and would allow guests to feed her apples on special encounters. In her time at the zoo she also received a reputation for being quite the artist. She would create paintings using her prehensile upper lip.

columbus zoo black rhino passing

Rosie the black rhino in her enclosure

Photo Credit: Grahm S. Jones/ Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Black rhinos are found in Africa. They are endangered with less than 5,000 estimated to remain in the wild. Their main threat is poaching to obtain their horn which is wrongly believed to have medicinal properties.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium contribute funding to wild conservation programs for the black rhino along with being an active participant in the AZA’s Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) program for black rhinos.

Learn more about black rhinos Black Rhino | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on their website – Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

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