TOLEDO, Ohio — A rhinoceros that was a longtime favorite at the Toledo Zoo has died.

Zoo staff decided to euthanize Sam the southern white rhinoceros Wednesday.

The zoo says the 44-year-old rhino’s health had declined recently as it struggled with urinary and gastrointestinal issues.

Zoo veterinarian Kirsten Thomas says the zoo acknowledged the rhino couldn’t regain his health with treatment.

Staffers had worked with the rhino to help problems related to his advance age. Sam lived 10 years beyond the average life expectancy for rhinos.

Crowds at the Toledo Zoo had enjoyed Sam for nearly three decades. He was donated to the Toledo Zoo from the Philadelphia Zoo in 1988.

A spokesperson says the zoo hopes to bring an Indian rhinoceros in the coming months.

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