Lee Richardson Zoo staff is mourning the loss of a beloved member of our animal collection. Ahadi, a black rhinoceros, passed away late Tuesday after becoming ill on Saturday. Nicknamed “Howdi” by his keepers, he arrived in Garden City from Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo in July 1990 and quickly became a favorite with both staff and visitors. Howdi would have been 25 years old in May.
Keepers had been maintaining a round the clock vigil with the rhino since he first showed signs of illness and decreased appetite on Saturday. On Sunday veterinary staff removed an abscessed tooth and administered antibiotics. Over the next two days, his condition continued to decline despite continual medical care from animal and veterinary staff. Howdi passed away during a procedure to close a hole is his palate caused by the infected tooth.
Although final pathology results are still pending, the preliminary cause of death is attributed to an esophageal blockage, compounded by advanced heart and lung disease. The median life expectancy for black rhinos is 17.8 years.