World’s oldest white rhino Toby dies at age 54 in Italian zoo

Side profiel og a huge brown grey coloured rhino standing in grass
Southern white rhino, South-Africa, photo: Groblerdu Preez via Canva

The world’s oldest white rhino, Toby, has died at the age of 54 in a zoo in Italy, a spokeswoman for the zoo said Tuesday.

“He collapsed on the floor on the way back to his nighttime shelter, and after about half an hour, his heart stopped,” Elisa Livia
Pennacchioni of the Parco Natura Viva, a zoo near the northern city of Verona, told news agency AFP.

“Nonno Toby” (Grandpa Toby) passed away on October 6, she said. Toby’s body will be preserved and displayed at the MUSE science museum in Trento. He will join Blanco at the museum, a white lion from the zoo who died five years ago, Pennacchioni said.

Toby’s female partner Sugar died in 2012. Benno, a 39-year-old white rhino, is the only one of his species left at the zoo.

Toby was a southern white rhino, one of the two subspecies of white rhinos. There are around 20,000 southern white rhinos in the wild, mostly in South Africa. The animals can become up to 40 years in the wild.

There are only two northern white rhinos left in the world, the females Najin and Fatu, who live in Kenya with round-the-clock protection.

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