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Rhinos die mysteriously in NSW zoo

September 10, 2012

Four out of five rhinos with a mystery illness at Taronga Western Plains Zoo have died.

Only one female white rhino struck down by the unknown illness at Taronga Western Plains Zoo is now free of symptoms and out of danger, but zoo staff say they may never know what caused the deaths of four other animals.

Investigations into the deaths have ruled out many potential causes, including infectious diseases and toxins, but the zoo’s senior vet Benn Bryant says it’s now unlikely that they’ll find the cause.

However, tissue samples from the investigations have been frozen in the archives, and new testing technology in the future could shed light on the mysterious deaths.

The surviving female white rhino has now been free of symptoms for a fortnight, and zoo staff are optimistic that she is now out of danger.

Benn Bryant, senior vet at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, says samples from the white rhinos which died mysteriously will be frozen in the hope that future testing technology can shed light on their deaths.

Listen to the ABC’s interview with Benn Bryant, senior vet at Taronga Western Plains Zoo here .

See original ABC story by Dugald Saunders

ABC TV report.

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