The oldest rhino at our zoo, Eugene, died this morning. I don't think the cause of death as officially been released yet, so suffice it to say it was age-related. He was 32 years old. I used to volunteer in that area of the zoo, and Eugene is everyone's favorite. I haven't volunteered in that area for a few years, but I was fortunate enough to visit him (though not up close and personal) a week and a half ago, and I am SO thankful I did. I got a few last photos of him to remember him by. He wasn't MINE, but he was my favorite rhino, and such an awesome guy. He was always so happy to get a bath or to get back scratches, and he LOOOOOOVED bananas. He lost the tip of his tail a few years ago, so he was always easy to pick out from the other rhinos. He once charges at me when Bibi was in heat and gave me a nice little scare and a greater respect for what these animals are capable of, but he really was a big sweet boy that loved to be loved on.
RIP big guy, you will be sorely missed
Here's the official announcement from the zoo:
Sedgwick County Zoo regrets to announce that Eugene, a beloved Eastern black rhinoceros, has passed away. Eugene was 32 years old. He came to Sedgwick County Zoo in 1981 from Cincinnati Zoo. Eugene has fathered many over the years and is survived by three: one each at Kansas City Zoo, St Louis Zoo and Potter Park Zoo in Lansing MI. Eugene is also the grandfather to another at St Louis Zoo. Bibi, our female Eastern black rhinoceros remains in good health at age 14.
And a few pictures from my last visit with Eugene:
He had my slightly worried at first because he was sleeping VERY soundly like this, but he was just being his goofy self.
Wake up sleepy head!
My favorite part of Eugene <3