Oldest, longest-term zoo resident, George the rhino, dies

Oldest, longest-term zoo resident, George the rhino, dies

One of the Henry Vilas Zoo’s oldest and longest-term residents, George, the 44-year-old white rhinoceros, has died, officials said.

George was one of the 10 oldest living white rhinoceros in zoos accredited by the North American Association of Zoos and Aquariums, according to a release.

“We will miss George,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said in the release. “He was a beloved member of our community. I want to thank our Henry Vilas Zoo staff for their great care of George over the last 40 years. This is a tremendous loss for our zoo family.”

Zoo staff recently decided to humanely euthanize George because of his deteriorating health and comfort, officials said.

George’s companion, Gracie, died in 2012, but George continued to enjoy mud baths, lying in the sun and was always happy to spend time with his keepers, according to the release.