Family and faith notes: Columbus Zoo rhino dies after illness

Kijito, an 18-year-old African black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) died early Wednesday at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium after a two-day illness that resulted in lethargy and loss of appetite and fluid intake.

Recently Kijito had been under treatment for a little understood and often fatal disease that is commonly found in this species. Kijito had reoccurring bouts with the disease, often referred to as Black Rhino Syndrome, which causes ulcerative and oral skin lesions. His most recent episodes started around Thanksgiving. His health recently declined when he was unable to eat or drink.

A necropsy (animal autopsy) is being performed to try and determine the cause of his death. Black rhinos suffer from a variety of disorders of unknown etiology. Although Kijito was displaying some indicators of Black Rhino Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder, the symptoms were not acute and may not be the primary cause of death. Lack of appetite is not usually associated with this disease.

“Black Rhino Syndrome appears to have a multi-faceted etiology and clinical indications manifest themselves in multiple ways” said Assistant Curator Harry Peachey. “The Columbus Zoo has been actively involved in practical applications of research into this serious disease.”

Kijito was born in 1993 at the Brookfield Zoo and came to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in 1999.

AIRPORT RECORD – Akron-Canton Regional Airport announced another record-breaking year.
Officials there report a passenger count of 1,654,000 total passengers as of Dec. 14, exceeding the airport’s all-time tally of 1,560,031 set in 2010.

LELJAK IN CONCERT – Pianist Dorian Leljak will be in concert 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at Malone University’s Stewart Room of the Randall Campus Center, located on the campus at 2600 Cleveland Avenue NW. The recital is free and open to the public. A program follows.

The concert is part of the college’s Faculty Artist Series.

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Posted on December 29, 2011, in Family events. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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