Berlin – He was one of Berlin’s zoo favorites, the rhinoceros boy Karl (3), who delighted people when he romped around in the enclosure next to his mother Betty (26). Now the pachyderm is dead. He died surprisingly on Monday night, the Berlin Zoo announced.
Charles’ early death shocked the carers. They first noticed about three weeks ago that Karl ran very slowly, ate badly and looked exhausted. “Again and again they had to encourage him to get up,” says zoo spokeswoman Katharina Sperling. Zoo veterinarian Andreas Ochs adds: “We have been closely monitoring Karl’s state of health over the past few weeks. Pain therapy recently led to a slight improvement in his condition. “
A section in animal pathology at the Free University of Berlin was held to clarify why the young rhinoceros bull died. The experts found that Karl suffered from a purulent inflammation in the abdomen. According to the animal pathologist Achim Gruber, this led to a thrombosis, a blood clot on a large pelvic artery. A bacterial infection possibly led to “blood poisoning or thrombus washings”, which was fatal for Karl.
“The finding is absolutely unusual,” says Gruber. From the clinical symptoms one could not have inferred what the animal was suffering from. “It is possible that Karl sustained an injury in his early childhood that smoldered unnoticed for a long period of time and has now ultimately led to his death.”
The rhinoceros bull was born in the zoo. Because of the planned renovation of the pachyderm house, Karl and his mother Betty moved to the Berlin Zoo two years ago. Father Belur (31) has lived in the Nuremberg Zoo since 2019.