Grandpa Toby, the world's largest known white rhino, has died

The world's largest known white rhino, Toby, has died at the age of 54 in a zoo in northern Italy.

According to a spokesman for the park.

"Nono Tobi" (Grandpa Tobi) died on October 6, Elisa Livia Benaccione of the Parco Natura Viva zoo near Verona told AFP.

She recounted that "he collapsed on his way back to his night shelter, and after about half an hour his heart stopped beating."

Benaccione noted that Toby will be embalmed and displayed at the Science Museum in Trento, where he will join Blanco, a white lion from the zoo who died five years ago.

She explained that white rhinos usually live up to 40 years old in captivity and up to 30 years in the wild.

After Toby died and kissed the female Sugar in 2012, he remained in the Parco Natura Viva zoo and one 39-year-old white rhino named Benno.

The southern white rhino is one of the two subspecies of the white rhino and is no longer vulnerable to extinction, with 18,000 individuals, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature, and classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as near threatened.

The northern white rhino is a subspecies that is technically extinct since the death of the last male rhino in 2018.

There are only two female northern white rhinos left in the world and live under guard in the Ol Pejeta Reserve in Kenya.

Neither of these two females can bear the pregnancy until its termination, but scientists are planning to use surrogate mothers among the southern white rhinos, after they succeeded in forming 12 embryos from the northern white rhinos using the gametes preserved for a number of males, according to what was announced in July by the “Bayou Union” Rescue, which includes scientists and conservationists.

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