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Lissa, 43-year-old rhinoceros at Lion Country Safari, dies

Veterinary staff members believe she died from inoperable colic
Lissa, a 43-year-old rhinoceros, died at Lion Country Safari. Aug. 21, 2023.jpg
Posted at 5:46 PM, Aug 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-22 01:27:03-04

LOXAHATCHEE GROVES, Fla. — Lissa, 43-year-old white rhinoceros at Lion Country Safari died last week, the drive-through safari park and walk-through amusement park said Monday.

The rhino was surrounded by her animal care team and its entire vet team, Lion Country Safari posted on Facebook.

Staff members awaiting are awaiting examination results, though they believe she died from an inoperable colic, something that often afflicts her close domestic relative, the horse, Lion Country Safari posted.

"Our team is devastated by the loss, but we are grateful for the nearly 10 additional years we’ve had with her since her initial cancer diagnosis," Lion Country Safari posted on Facebook. "Lissa was in remission and she lived a comfortable life in the herd, something that is important in this gregarious species."

In the wild, southern white rhinoceroses may live to about 35 years; and median life expectancy under human care is about 40 years.

In December 2013, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in her horn.

"In what was perhaps one of our greatest challenges and most rewarding successes in recent memory, her dedicated and passionate team, along with consulting veterinarians and human medical specialists, spent countless hours removing the cancer and restoring her health," Lion Country Safari said.

People can leave condolences for the staff in the comments on Facebook and they will be shared with the team.

"Lissa will be remembered as a friendly, inspiring, and patient rhinoceros and an incredible ambassador for her species," Lion Country Safari said. "She will be sorely missed but her legacy lives on in our fond memories of her and through the lasting impact on rhinoceros care and veterinary treatment from her battle with cancer."