Memphis Zoo mourns the loss of white rhino | Sports & Recreation
The Memphis Zoo is deeply saddened to announce that Tombi, the Zoo's Southern White Rhinoceros has died.
Tombi lived to the age of 41 when her health began to dramatically decline earlier this month.
Tombi was put into hospice care when Zoo keepers noticed the health problems. Her health was monitored and she was kept as comfortable as possible. Out of the Zoo's deep love for this animal, the decision was made to euthanize her in order to avoid prolonging any suffering and pain.
Tombi first lived in Virginia before being brought to the Memphis Zoo in April 1976. She had a rhino mate named Bacxa till 1990 when Bacxa died. Tombi's second mate named Pendulla, also known as Mugs, died in July 2006.
Tombi developed deep, loving relationships with her keepers and veterinarians. She was so trusting of her keepers that "she allowed them to perform standing blood draws," says Houston Winbigler, Assistant Curator.
"Just being around her was special," said Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs. "She was such a gentle animal and loved to be rubbed down and talked to."
The Memphis Zoo will work with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to acquire Southern White rhinos for future exhibits. Visitors may pay their respects by leaving cards or flowers at the rhino statue of the Zoo's front plaza.
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