The female, named Elena, was chased for 15 minutes by the Limpopo male and ended up slipping into a pond.
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Drama at the zoo. A female rhino drowned in the Wildlands zoo located in Emmen (north-eastern Netherlands) after fleeing during an unsuccessful mating attempt, the animal park announced on Friday (September 17th). The female, named Elena, was “surprise” by the arrival of a male white rhino named Limpopo and fled. The chase lasted “a few minutes” and “Elena walked over to a shallow pool and slipped, probably from her fatigue. She ended up on her side in the water and couldn’t get up “said the zoo in a post on Facebook.
The zoo keepers were then able to drive the male away but “unfortunately our help came too late for Elena and she had already sunk”, explained the zoo. Limpopo, 19, arrived in the park in early September from another Dutch zoo where he had sired three cubs as part of a European breeding program. His entry into the enclosure of Elena and the other female, Zahra, took place on Thursday. Organize meetings between male and female rhinos “often requires an intervention, but, until now, this had not had a fatal outcome”, assured the zoo.
Elena’s death “touched a lot” zoo staff and its impact on the breeding program is not yet clear. The southern white rhino, one of two subspecies of the white rhino, is considered near threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with 10,080 animals currently.