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Black rhino at Sedgwick County Zoo dies

Published on -4/18/2012, 7:23 AM

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- One of the most popular animals at the Sedgwick County Zoo has died.

Zoo officials say Eugene, an Eastern black rhinoceros, died Tuesday. At the age of 32, he was one of the oldest black rhinos in the nation.

Mike Quick, the zoo's curator of animals, says zoo officials were trying to decide whether to euthanize Eugene when he died on his own. A necropsy determined Eugene died from a rupture in his bowel.

The Wichita Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/J2nvhr ) the rhino was at the zoo since 1981 and was a favorite of visitors and staff.

Quick says Eugene fathered several rhino calves that have been sent to other zoos, including one at the Kansas City Zoo and one at the St. Louis Zoo.

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