Second-oldest eastern black male rhino in North America dies at Lincoln Park Zoo
Maku, who was 34, had been brought the zoo to breed with another rhinoceros in 2003.
The second-oldest eastern black male rhino in North America has died at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Maku, 34, was euthanized Thursday due to age-related health issues, the zoo announced Friday.
He had lived well above the median age for black eastern rhinos living in zoos, which is 19, according to the zoo.
In an online tribute, the zoo’s curator of mammals, Mike Murray, recalled how Maku liked fresh snowfall and wallowing in the mud — so he often combined the two, using the snow to make mud pits to wallow in.
“We’re proud to have his legacy live on through his most recent calf, Romeo, but we will greatly miss [Maku’s] laid-back personality,” Murray was quoted as saying.
Maku was transferred to the Lincoln Park Zoo from Miami in 203 to breed as part of the Eastern Black Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan.
Besides Romeo, Maku also sired King in 2013. In all, Maku has helped his endangered population by producing six offspring, as well as a granddaughter and a great grandson.
Maku’s “laid-back personality” came out during check-ups. Instead of having to be anesthetized, the rhino would walk up to zookeepers and stand on the scale, participate in radiographs, or allow his blood to be drawn. He even let keepers to give him pedicures, according to the zoo.
Maku was born in captivity. His species of rhino orginates in Africa, in the area stretching from Chad and Sudan to South Africa.
Maku’s species are herbivores that can weigh up to 3,000 pounds. Only 3,142 mature black eastern rhino adults are known to exist in the wild.