Tanzanian conservation authorities have said that the world’s oldest free-ranging female black rhino has died in the Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania. Fausta died at age 57.
Freddy Manongi, the Conservation Commissioner for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), said in a statement that the rhino died of suspected natural death on Friday.
“Records show that Fausta lived longer than any rhino in the world and survived in the Ngorongoro, free-ranging, for more than 54 years before she was kept in a sanctuary for the last three years of her life in 2016,” Manongi said in the statement.
The rhino was first located in the Ngorongoro crater in 1965 by a scientist from the University of Dar es Salaam. She was then between three and four years.
“The health of the rhino began to deteriorate in 2016, when we were forced to put the animal in captivity, after several attacks from hyenas that inflicted severe wounds on the rare animal,” Manongi added.
Fausta also lost sight, which further compromised her survival ability in the wild.
The life expectancy of rhinos is between 37 and 43 years in the wild and they can live up to 50 years and above in captivity.