The Animal Facts Editorial Team
April 22, 2023 10:22 pm
Tulsa, Oklahoma, The United States
Tulsa Zoo farewelled their southern white rhinoceros, Jeannie this week following a short battle with cancer. The 43 year old rhinoceros was diagnosed with cancer by vet staff on Monday April 17 2023 and humanely euthanized.
“Jeannie has been such a beloved, iconic ambassador,” said Tulsa Zoo Zoological Manager for Elephants and Hoofstock Jessica Scallan. “Her gentle disposition allowed us to grow our crash (herd) with other rhinos, and various mixed species, at the Mary K. Chapman Rhino Reserve. She has always led the crash with dignity and impressive vocalizations. We will miss her dearly.”
In early April vets and keepers at the Tulsa Zoo began monitoring Jeannie in the knowledge that her quality of life was declining. She had seen decreases in her mobility and a change in temperament and appetite.
“Jeanie was a gentle giant,” said Tulsa Zookeeper Erik Storjohann. “She was a great ambassador for her species and our zoo. She loved tactile attention and scratches behind her ears. It was always hard not to give her pats or scratches as she moved out of the barn for the day because she would always lean in for more. Her gentle nature truly made her a favorite of all that met her.”
“It’s so special to have a rhino like Jeannie at Tulsa Zoo for 41 years,” said Tulsa Zookeeper Eric Flossic. “Visitors who took their kids to see Jeannie now have grandchildren who also have had the pleasure of visiting Jeannie. It’s a really great way to remember her legacy.”
Jeannie is survive by the rest of her crash, Rudo, Sally and Hodari.
The southern white rhinoceros is not named for its skin colour. Instead it is believed the name comes from a misunderstanding of the Afrikaans word ‘weit’ which refers to the wide square shaped lip.
Image: © Tulsa Zoo
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