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Tulsa Zoo Mourns Loss of Southern White Rhinoceros

Tulsa Zoo is sad to announce that Jeannie, the zoo’s 43-year-old Southern white rhinoceros, was diagnosed with cancer and humanely euthanized by the veterinary care staff on Monday, April 17, 2023.

“Jeannie has been such a beloved, iconic ambassador,” said Tulsa Zoo Zoological Manager for Elephants and Hoofstock Jessica Scallan. “Her gentle disposition allowed us to grow our crash (herd) with other rhinos, and various mixed species, at the Mary K. Chapman Rhino Reserve. She has always led the crash with dignity and impressive vocalizations. We will miss her dearly.”

Jeannie began end-of-life care monitoring in early April, with her care team closely monitoring her quality of life, in particular watching for decreases in mobility and appetite, as well as changing temperament.

“Jeannie was a gentle giant,” said Tulsa Zookeeper Erik Storjohann. “She was a great ambassador for her species and our zoo. She loved tactile attention and scratches behind her ears. It was always hard not to give her pats or scratches as she moved out of the barn for the day because she would always lean in for more. Her gentle nature truly made her a favorite of all that met her.”

“It’s so special to have a rhino like Jeannie at Tulsa Zoo for 41 years,” said Tulsa Zookeeper Eric Flossic. “Visitors who took their kids to see Jeannie now have grandchildren who also have had the pleasure of visiting Jeannie. It’s a really great way to remember her legacy.”

Jeannie’s remaining crash members are Rudo, Sally and Hodari.

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