Tue 12 October 2021:
Toby, the world’s oldest white rhino, died in a zoo in northern Italy on Tuesday at the age of 54, according to a spokeswoman for the establishment.
“Nonno Toby” (Grandpa Toby) died on October 6, according to Elisa Livia Pennacchioni of the Parco Natura Viva, a zoo near Verona in northern Italy.
“He collapsed on the floor on the way back to his nighttime shelter, and after about half an hour, his heart stopped,” she said.
Toby will be embalmed and put on display at the MuSe science museum in Trento, where he will join Blanco, a white lion from the zoo who died five years ago, Pennacchioni said.
White rhinos normally live up to 40 years when held in captivity, and up to 30 years in the wild, she said.
Toby’s death, which comes after the death of his female spouse Sugar in 2012, leaves only one white rhino in the Parco Natura Viva: Benno, who is 39 years old.
Toby was a southern white rhino, one of only five rhino species not considered endangered, according to the WWF, with an estimated population of roughly 18,000 individuals.
According to the environmental group, there are just two specimens of the northern white rhino subspecies left in Kenya, which are guarded 24 hours a day by armed guards.
FILE PHOTO: White rhino. A magnificent white rhino enjoys time next to a waterhole in the Lewa Conservancy in Kenya.
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