JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The Jackson Zoo is saying goodbye to one of its animals.
Ronnie the Rhino died in his sleep Thursday.
Joo officials posted a photo of Ronnie on its Instagram page.
We’re told he was 43 years old.
“It is with great sorrow that we share the loss of one of our rhinos, ‘Ronnie,'” Executive Director Beth Poff said. “He has been a part of the zoo for over six years, and was a big part of our special behind-the-scenes experiences for donors. His gentle impressiveness will be missed.”
Ronnie was born in South Africa and came to the Jackson Zoo in March of 2011 from the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, Florida. Since
“He was a very special animal to work with, and keepers found him very easy to care for,” said Animal Care Supervisor Willie Bennett. The past few years had seen a major increase in his needs as he got into his forties (the median age of a White or wide-lipped rhino is 34 years). Careful watch over his diet and exercise was required, as well as daily medication for arthritic joints and skin issues caused by his more limited mobility. “Even as his health was declining, Ronnie’s spirit stayed strong,” said Bennett. “He never gave up.”