White rhino dies at San Diego Zoo - leaving just THREE left in the world

  • Nola was considered geriatric at 41 and had a series of old-age ailments
  • After her condition deteriorated over the past 24 hours, San Diego zoo officials made the 'difficult' decision to euthanize her 
  • She had been a draw there after arriving from the Czech Republic in 1989
  • Her death leaves only three northern white rhinos in the world - all in Kenya

A popular white rhinoceros has been euthanized at San Diego Zoo Safari Park after a series of illnesses - leaving just three members of the critically endangered species alive in the world.

Nola, at 41, was considered geriatric and had a number of old-age ailments, including arthritis, the Los Angeles Times reported. The rhino had also been treated for a recurring abscess on her hip. 

She was placed under constant veterinary watch last week as her appetite and activity levels declined.

Zoo officials say Nola was euthanized early on Sunday after her condition deteriorated over the past 24 hours. 

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Nola (pictured in December last year), a popular white rhinoceros has been euthanized at San Diego Zoo Safari Park after a series of illnesses

Nola (pictured in December last year), a popular white rhinoceros has been euthanized at San Diego Zoo Safari Park after a series of illnesses

In a statement issued on Sunday morning, the zoo said: 'Nola was an iconic animal, not only at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, but worldwide. 

'Through the years, millions of people learned about Nola and the plight of rhinos in the wild through visits to the Safari Park, numerous media stories and social media posts.'

On Facenook, the zoo added: ‘It is with profound sadness that we announce that 41-year-old Nola, one of only four remaining northern white rhinos, has died.

‘In the last 24 hours, Nola’s condition worsened and we made the difficult decision to euthanize her.

‘We’re absolutely devastated by this loss, but resolved to fight even harder to #EndExtinction. We ask that you join us in that fight.

‘Let this be a warning of what is happening to wildlife everywhere. #RIP sweet girl. You will be deeply, dearly missed.’

Shortly after her death on Sunday morning, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park said they are 'devastated' by the loss of Nola

Shortly after her death on Sunday morning, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park said they are 'devastated' by the loss of Nola

Shortly after her death, the park urged people on Twitter to share their messages of condolence using the hashtag #Nola4Ever.

San Diego Safari Park’s account tweeted: ‘We’re devastated by the loss of Nola. Only 3 northern white rhinos remain. Pls share condolences using #Nola4Ever.’

The rhino had been a draw at the Safari Park after arriving from a zoo in the Czech Republic in 1989. 

A male northern white rhino, Agalifu, died at the park at the age of 44 in December last year.

Now, Nola's death leaves only three northern white rhinos in the world - all at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a sanctuary in Kenya.

They are protected from poachers by around-the-clock armed guards, the LA Times reported.

 

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