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Zoo's endangered Indian rhino dead

The Cincinnati Zoo's endangered Indian rhino has died.   "Nikki" passed away in her indoor home, around 7 a.m. Thursday,  at the Zoo’s Rhino Reserve, a release said. 

The female Indian rhino was born at the Toronto Zoo in 1991.  She was known worldwide for the world’s first successful artificial insemination (AI) procedure in this endangered rhino species.

“Today the Cincinnati Zoo has lost one of its most beloved animals.  Nikki was charismatic and charmed anyone who had the privilege of knowing and loving her,” said Dr. Monica Stoops, Reproductive Physiologist at the Cincinnati Zoo. “Without a doubt, her absence will leave a great hole in our hearts and she will never be forgotten.”

Nikki’s two pregnancies were critical milestones in developing the reproductive technology that could help save her species from extinction, the zoo says. “While we are all devastated by her loss, we could not be more honored to have worked with her and loved her over the years,” said Stoops.


Maryanne Zeleznik is responsible for all news and public affairs programming at WVXU. She also hosts Morning Edition Monday through Friday.