Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
FILE - In this July 17, 2013 file photo, Suci, a female Sumatran rhino, sniffs the air in her enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo in Cincinnati. The zoo said Suci died Sunday, March 30, 2014, after showing symptoms of a disease that killed her mother five years ago. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)
1 of 10 Sumatran rhinos in captivity dies in Ohio
First Published Mar 31 2014 02:07 pm • Last Updated Mar 31 2014 02:27 pm

Cincinnati • The death of the Cincinnati Zoo’s lone female Sumatran rhino has dealt a blow to a breeding program aimed at saving one of the world’s most critically endangered species.

The rhino, named Suci, was one of only 10 in captivity worldwide and died Sunday after showing symptoms of a disease that killed her mother, although zoo officials say it will be months before the final results of a necropsy are available.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The breeding effort followed a crisis summit in Singapore where conservationists concluded that as few as 100 of the two-horned, hairy rhinos might remain in forests in their native Indonesia and Malaysia. The species has become endangered through loss of forests and poaching of the animals’ horns, which are believed by some Asian cultures to have medicinal properties.

"Suci was a symbol of hope for her entire species, one that is quickly losing ground in the wild, and her absence will leave a hole in our hearts," Terri Roth, director of the zoo’s Lindner Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife, said in a statement.

Suci was born in 2004 and was one of three Sumatran rhino calves born at the zoo to mother Emi and father Ipuh. Emi died in 2009 and Ipuh in 2013.

Keepers had hoped to mate Suci with her younger brother, Harapan, who is now the only Sumatran rhino in North America. Andalus, the other male born at the zoo, was sent to Sumatra in 2007 to bolster a breeding program there and has fathered a male calf.

Cincinnati Zoo staff had to wait for Harapan to reach breeding age, but Suci began losing weight several months ago and staff began treating her for hemochromatosis, also known as iron storage disease.

Zoo scientists, keepers and veterinarians had been treating Suci with a therapy used on humans and African black rhinos and her behavior and appetite had improved. But her condition rapidly deteriorated Sunday, Roth said.

Zoo officials could not comment yet on their breeding plans for the future, although they say they remain committed to working to save the species.

"We are just trying to get through this right now," zoo spokeswoman Tiffany Barnes said.


story continues below
story continues below

The zoo has been a pioneer in captive breeding of the species, and Roth said last year that there was a lot of urgency in getting Suci pregnant.

"If we don’t act quickly and boldly, the loss of this magnificent animal will be among the great tragedies of our time," Roth said.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.