SAN DIEGO (AP) – A northern white rhinoceros that zoo officials said was only one of six left in the world died Sunday at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Angalifu, who was about 44 years old, apparently died of old age.
“Angalifu’s death is a tremendous loss to all of us,” safari park curator Randy Rieches said in a statement. “Not only because he was well beloved here at the park but also because his death brings this wonderful species one step closer to extinction.”
His death leaves only one northern white rhino at the zoo – a female named Nola – one at a zoo in the Czech Republic and three in a preserve in Kenya.
Rhino horns are valued as dagger handles and are mistakenly seen as an aphrodisiac. As a result, poaching has pushed the critically endangered rhinos to the brink of extinction.
Attempts to mate Angalifu with Nola weren’t successful.