Black Rhino dies after 17 years at Baton Rouge Zoo; caretakers cite old age
BATON ROUGE - A 35-year-old Black Rhino named Gemstone died May 30 after spending 17 years at the Baton Rouge Zoo.
Caretakers say Gemstone was born in 1989 and came to Baton Rouge in 2006. During her stay, she gave birth to several rhino calves - including Zuri, a resident of the Cincinnati Zoo.
Zookeepers said Gemstone's health was declining due to old age. Veterinary experts developed a plan to put Gemstone down, but she died in her sleep before the procedure could take place.
Zoo staff says the median life expectancy for the Eastern Black Rhinoceros is 19 years, which Gemstone surpassed.
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