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Marwell rhino Hannu dies
FOR more than 15 years he was one of Marwell Wildlife’s top attractions.
But sadly staff were forced to put down 29-year-old male white rhino Hannu last week after a battle with severe arthritis.
He had been receiving veterinary care but his condition had rapidly deteriorated, resulting in the difficult decision to end his life.
Hannu was one of three white rhinos at the park along with females Sula and Kiri. It is one of the most endangered species in the world, hunted by poachers who mistakenly believe the rhino horns have medicinal powers.
Phil Robbins, team leader at Marwell, near Winchester, said: “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with such a gentle giant like Hannu.
“All the keepers on North section are going to thoroughly miss him.
“Although nine times out of 10 he was a gentleman to Sula and Kiri, he could definitely assert his authority and put the girls back in their places when they were naughty!
“He liked nothing better than to go out into the paddock on hot, summer days, enjoy the sunshine, have a wallow and rearrange the logs and fence line. He will be greatly missed.”
Hannu was born at Knowsley Safari Park. He arrived at Marwell in 1997, where he fathered two male calves with Sula. The calves went to Flamingo Land to start families of their own.
The white rhino is the largest of the five species of rhinoceros and one of the world's largest land mammals. They live between 40 and 50 years, can grow to 4m long and 1.85m high and weigh between 3,000lb and 8,000lb.
The species is under threat because of the value of their horns in the Asian phoney medicine market. Horns are now worth more than £25,000 per kg after a rumour that they could cure cancer.
The rhino are generally found in grassland and savannah habitats, and spend about half the day eating grass, while drinking twice a day.