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12th Oct 2021

The world’s oldest white rhino has died in Italy

So sad.

The oldest white rhino in the world has died at the age of 54 in a zoo in Italy.

According to a spokesperson for the Parco Natura Viva, which is a zoo located near Verona in northern Italy, Nonno Toby passed away last week, RTÉ reports.

According to spokesperson Elisa Livia Pennacchioni, the rhino collapsed on the floor on his way to the nighttime shelter and after a half an hour his heart gave out.

Toby is set to be embalmed and put on display at the MuSe science museum in Trento, and he will be joining Blanco, a white lion from the zoo who died five years ago.

Outliving the typical lifespan, white rhinos usually live up to 40 years in captivity and 30 years in the wild.

Now, the Parco Natura Viva only has one white rhino left, Benno who is 39 years old.

Of all the five rhino species in the world, southern white rhinos are the only one not considered endangered with a population of around 18,000.

The WWF said: “The majority (98.8%) of the southern white rhinos occur in just four countries: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya.

“Southern white rhinos were thought to be extinct in the late 19th century, but in 1895 a small population of fewer than 100 individuals was discovered in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.

“After more than a century of protection and management, they are now classified as Near Threatened and around 18,000 animals exist in protected areas and private game reserves. They are the only of the five rhino species that are not endangered.”