The world’s oldest rhino in captivity has died aged 48 after beating cancer earlier in her life, Los Angeles Zoo has said.
Randa, a female Indian rhinoceros, was euthanised on Monday due to age-related illness.
She was the oldest Indian rhino to be kept in a zoo.
The zoo said it made the “difficult decision” after the rhino began showing signs of declining health, including loss of appetite, difficulty moving, and blood analysis indicating kidney failure.
She was born on October 5, 1969 in Switzerland and arrived at the LA Zoo in 1974 from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Texas.
In 2009, when Randa was 40, a biopsy revealed that she had an aggressive skin cancer that also occurs in humans, known as squamous cell carcinoma, under her horn.
Zoo vets made the decision to remove the entire horn and have Randa undergo radiation treatment.
Despite potential setbacks due to her advanced age and weight of two tons, the rhino was declared to be in remission in 2011.
Randa had a great connection with her animal keepers, according to the zoo. They said she spent her days swimming in her pool and eating her favourite honeydew melon and apples.
"The L.A. Zoo is deeply saddened to announce the passing of 48-year-old female Indian rhinoceros, Randa, this morning due to age-related illnesses," the zoo said in a statement on Monday.
LA Zoo said: "The Zoo made the difficult decision to humanely euthanise Randa after she began showing signs of declining health, including loss of appetite, difficulty moving, and blood work indicating kidney failure.”
The rhino was an ‘ambassador animal’ for her species. Zoo visitors could have a personal encounter with the female rhino to learn more about the critically-endangered species.
Due to poaching and habitat loss, some species of rhino have as few as 75 animals left in the wild.