September 7, 2009

Rare rhino dies at Cincinnati Zoo

An endangered Sumatran rhinoceros who gave birth to three calves in recent years has died at age 21 at the Cincinnati Zoo, officials said.

Emi, who lived at the zoo for 14 years, died Sunday, zoo veterinarian Terri Roth said.

It is always devastating when an animal reaches the end of its life, especially those that are so special, but Emi could not have been in better hands all these years, Roth said in a release.

Emi gave birth to three calves at the zoo -- Andalas in 2001, Suci in 2004 and Harapan in 2007. Andalas was the first Sumatran rhino bred and born in captivity in 112 years.

The Cincinnati Zoo is the only place in the world to have successfully bred Sumatran rhinos in captivity, Roth said. There are nine Sumatran rhinos living in captivity worldwide and fewer than 200 living in the wild in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Sumatran rhinos can live to be 40 years old. Emi's cause of death had yet to be determined.