‘Startled’ rhino dies during mating accident

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A female rhinoceros drowns in a zoo after a first date with a new male, which tragically goes wrong.

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Elena was “shocked” by the arrival of a new male partner at the Wildlands Park in the Dutch city of Emmen.

After being chased, the exhausted woman slipped into a water pit, where she died, the owners of the attraction said Friday.

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The new bull, named Limpopo, was placed in its shed as part of a proposed breeding program at the attraction.

The two were carefully introduced to each other by smell and sight while being placed in separate pens.

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But things took a sad turn when the owners allowed 19-year-old Limpopo into Elena’s territory, which she shared with her sister, Zahra.

“From that moment on it became restless,” a spokesperson for Wildlands said. “Both the women were startled by the man and instead of holding her together in his place, they both fled.

“As a result, Limpopo followed. He was focusing exclusively on Elena because she was closest to him.”

After 15 minutes, she slipped into a shallow pool of water and landed on her side. She was unable to get up, the zoo said.

The caretakers – who intervened only when she was down – could not stop her from drowning.

Zoo vet Job Stumpel said: “You wanted to jump over there and raise his head above the water but you couldn’t. Rhinos are not only very dangerous, but they also weigh around 2,000 kg.

Talking to the Netherlands advertisement newspaper, he added: “We went to her with a shovel and followed the male with him, so that we could get the female, but by then it was too late.”

The zoo said such introductions “often require intervention, but have never caused a fatality before”.

Yet questions may be asked about this plan when it was acknowledged that Limpopo had been transferred from a German zoo six years earlier because he “didn’t treat the female there properly”.

The southern white rhinoceros is listed as “near threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with only 10,080 animals present.

But they can be difficult to breed, as the female gives birth to a calf only once every three to four years after a 16-month pregnancy.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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