Gracie the Rhino Dies at Age 41

by Ryan Felix, age 12

     Recently, Henry Vilas Zoo’s white rhinoceros, Gracie, died at the age of 41. Gracie was brought to the zoo in 1976 with her mate George. Both have lived well beyond the normal 20 to 30 year life expectancy for rhinos.                   
     In 2001, Gracie was diagnosed with a uterine tumor, but it is not known if this was a factor in her death. Zookeepers noticed a rapid decline in Gracie’s health. They decided to euthanize Gracie so she would not have to die painfully.
     Gracie and George were close companions. Since her death, zookeepers say they have been spending a lot of time with George, giving him extra treats and care. Henry Vilas Zoo is considering bringing in another rhino to keep George company.

[Source: Wisconsin State Journal]