BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Jaharo, the Maryland Zoo’s six-year-old male rhinoceros, has died.

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore announced that Jaharo died suddenly on Sunday in the early afternoon.

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“Jaharo had been undergoing treatment for serious health issues, but was eating, drinking and behaving normally for the past several weeks,” stated Mike McClure, general curator at the Zoo. “On Sunday, his condition went into decline very rapidly and our efforts to stabilize him were not successful. He was truly a favorite of staff and visitors alike with his personable attitude and willingness to train.  Jaharo will really be missed at the African Watering Hole.”

Dr. Ellen Bronson, senior director of animal health, conservation and research for the Zoo, said Jaharo had been diagnosed with suspected immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, a disorder that occurs when red blood cells are destroyed by the body’s own immune system.

She said as far as they could determine, the disease had never before been seen in a white rhinoceros, and they had been able to manage the severe anemia with intensive care including medication and transfusions.

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Unfortunately, the anemia returned in January, and suddenly declined Sunday.

“On Sunday, his condition went into decline very rapidly and our efforts to stabilize him were not successful,” said Mike McClure, general curator at the Zoo. “He was truly a favorite of staff and visitors alike with his personable attitude and willingness to train. Jaharo will really be missed at the African Watering Hole,”

McClure said Stubby, the other male rhino, will continue to reside in the African Watering Hole habitat, and they are currently determining whether or not they will bring in another rhino as a companion for Stubby.

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