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Emi, the Sumatran rhino that delivered a record number of calves while in captivity, died this weekend, dealing a setback to the breeding programs that once called her the last hope to saving the endangered species.
The 21-year-old rhino lived at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden for 14 years, becoming a crowd favorite and producing three calves, Andalas, Suci and Harapan.
Just eight years ago, the delivery of Andalas marked the first captive birth of a Sumatran rhino in more than a century and helped the zoo become an internationally known breeding program.
“The loss of an animal that’s as beloved and well-known as Emi is always heartbreaking,” said Thane Maynard, director of the Cincinnati Zoo. “But it’s important to remember, too, that we’re going to continue to work to save endangered species like this, and that Emi won’t be forgotten.”