CONTACT: Kyle Shepherd
Direct: 502-238-5331 | Media Only: 502-744-5639
With great sadness, The Louisville Zoo said goodbye to 31 year-old Southern White Rhinoceros “Lulu” Wednesday.
The Zoo’s veterinarian staff found an abnormal growth in Lulu’s reproductive tract this past spring. When the tumor grew more aggressive this fall, it was determined that she was battling cancer. Zoo vets consulted with rhino experts and were advised that this type of cancer spreads to the entire body in rhinos and was incurable. With this prognosis in mind and Lulu’s failing quality of life, the decision was made to humanely euthanize Lulu.
“These decisions are never made lightly. Lulu has an incurable form of cancer,” said Zoo veterinarian Dr. Roy Burns. “Her condition was only going to worsen and cause her even more discomfort.”
“Lulu will be missed. She was a special animal and a great ambassador for her threatened species in the remnant wild,” adds Louisville Zoo Director John Walczak.
Lulu shared an exhibit with 30 year-old “Sindi.” The Zoo is in conversations with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan for Rhinos in determining the best direction for the future of rhinos and the Louisville Zoo.
Southern White Rhinos are from Southern Africa and can weigh between 4000 – 6000 lbs. White Rhinos have a median life expectancy of 34 years in a managed system. Lifespan in the remnant wild is not well known.
The Zoo can be reached via I-264, exit 14. Follow the Zoo signs to 1100 Trevilian Way. For additional information, please call (502) 459-2181 or visit the Zoo website at www.louisvillezoo.org.
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About Louisville Zoo, The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
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