Aussie zoo’s heartache as baby rhino tragically dies with wildlife experts now racing to understand what went wrong
- A baby rhino died at a Melbourne zoo
- The calf had a broken shoulder blade
A zoo has launched an investigation into the sudden death of its baby rhino.
Werribee Open Range Zoo, in southwest Melbourne, shared a post on Monday following the death of a southern white rhinoceros calf.
The rhino was born last week but sustained internal injuries after its birth.
‘The five-day-old female calf suffered a neurological episode just before midnight Saturday, followed by cardiac arrest and sadly, zoo veterinary staff were unable to resuscitate her,’ the zoo said in a statement.
A necropsy, animal autopsy, by University of Melbourne Veterinarian School found the calf had a broken shoulder blade.
A female southern white rhinoceros calf (above) has died at Werribee Open Range Zoo, in southwest Melbourne
It’s believed the calf (above) suffered a broken shoulder blade which caused blood clots to form, leading to neurological and cardiac distress
Werribee Open Range Zoo Director Dr Mark Pilgrim said the rhino’s injury was likely caused by interactions with its mother.
‘The death of any animal is challenging for all involved, but we can find comfort in the knowledge that every action was taken to ensure the calf was receiving the best care possible,’ he said.
‘We know this news will bring sadness to our Zoo Members and community, and our kind thoughts are with them and all who cared for this precious calf, and particularly with our vet and keeping teams who worked tirelessly to care for the calf over the past five days.’
The zoo will conduct further tests in coming weeks to determine what caused the rhino’s death but it’s believed blood clots near the shoulder blade break caused its neurological and cardiac distress.
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