Oldest captive rhino euthanized at LA Zoo: She ‘will be missed by all’

Randa, an Indian rhino who was euthanized Monday at the Los Angeles Zoo due to declining health. Photo by Jamie Pham/LA Zoo

A 48-year-old female Indian rhinoceros that was the oldest on record within zoos worldwide and had also beaten a cancer diagnosis was euthanized Monday at the Los Angeles Zoo because of declining health.

Randa was euthanized due to a loss in appetite, difficulty moving, and blood work indicating kidney failure, the zoo’s April Spurlock said.

“Randa has been iconic throughout L.A. Zoo’s history, and so many visitors have been touched by an encounter with her or her fantastic story,” zoo director John Lewis said.

“It is a true testament of the work zoos do and the expertise of our staff that she was able to beat cancer and live a full life here at the zoo. She was a fighter and will be missed by all.”

Randa was born on Oct. 5, 1969 in Basel, Switzerland and arrived at the zoo on Nov. 22, 1974 from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas.

In 2009, a biopsy revealed that Randa had squamous cell carcinoma, a type of aggressive skin cancer that also occurs in humans, and ended up having her horn removed as she underwent radiation treatments.

Giving a two-ton, 40-year-old rhino cancer treatment was no easy feat but she went into remission in 2011, Spurlock said.

Randa was part of a weekend and holiday behind-the-scenes Indian Rhino Encounter from 2012 to 2015, but retired from the exhibit in 2015 as her health began declining due to arthritis and other age-related issues, Spurlock said.

–City News Service