An Australian zoo’s heartache has been saddened by the tragic death of a baby rhino, with wildlife experts now racing to understand what went wrong
- A young rhinoceros has died at a Melbourne zoo
- The calf had a broken shoulder
A zoo has launched an investigation into the sudden death of a young rhinoceros.
The Werribee Open Range Zoo, located in southwest Melbourne, released a post on Monday following the death of a southern white rhino calf.
The rhino was born last week but suffered internal injuries after birth.
“The five-day-old calf suffered a seizure just before midnight on Saturday, followed by cardiac arrest, and unfortunately the zoo’s veterinary staff was unable to resuscitate it,” the zoo said in a statement.
An autopsy of an animal by the University of Melbourne Veterinary School found that the calf had a fractured shoulder blade.
A female southern white rhino calf (above) has died at Werribee Open Zoo, in southwest Melbourne.
It is believed that the calf (above) suffered a fractured scapula which caused blood clots to form, resulting in neurological and cardiac distress
Dr Mark Pilgrim, director of the Werribee Open Range Zoo, said the rhino’s injury was likely due to interactions with its mother.
“The death of any animal is challenging for all involved, but we can take comfort in knowing that every measure was taken to ensure the calf received the best possible care,” he said.
We know this news will bring sadness to the members and community of our zoo, and our thoughts are with them and everyone who has cared for this precious calf, and especially with the vet and grooming teams who have worked tirelessly to care for the calf over the past five days.”
The zoo will conduct more tests in the coming weeks to determine the cause of the rhino’s death, but it is believed that blood clots near the shoulder bone fracture caused neurological and cardiac distress.