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Maryland Zoo in Baltimore's 6-year-old white rhino Jaharo has died

Jaharo, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore’s 6-year-old southern white rhino, has died.

Diagnosed with a form of anemia last fall, Jaharo had been responding well to treatment and had been eating, drinking and behaving normally for the past several weeks, zoo officials said. His condition, however, began declining rapidly Sunday morning. He died in the early afternoon.

“He was truly a favorite of staff and visitors alike with his personable attitude and willingness to train,” Mike McClure, the zoo's general curator, said in a statement. “Jaharo will really be missed at the African Watering Hole.”

Jaharo was born in September 2012 at The Wilds conservation center in Cumberland, Ohio. He came to Baltimore in November 2016.

In fall 2018, Jaharo was diagnosed with “suspected immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, a disorder that occurs when red blood cells are destroyed by the body’s own immune system,” said Ellen Bronson, the zoo's senior director of animal health, conservation and research. Zoo officials believe the condition had never been seen before in a white rhinoceros.

Jaharo responded well to initial treatments, Bronson said in a statement, and “returned to his normal self.” But he suffered a relapse earlier this month and, although he seemed to be responding well again, died Jan. 27.

“Stubby, the other male rhino, will continue to reside in the African Watering Hole habitat with the zebra and ostrich,” McClure said. Zoo officials plan to meet with representatives from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) to discuss future plans, including the possibility of bringing another rhino to Baltimore.

The zoo has been without a female white rhino since 48-year-old Daisy Mae died in April 2016.

ckaltenbach@baltsun.com

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