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San Diego Zoo's White Rhino Has Died, Leaving Only Three Left In The World

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Nola, the northern white rhino belonging to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, passed away Sunday morning.

At 41 years old, Nola was considered geriatric, the L.A. Times reports. As the Safari Park wrote on their Facebook page on Sunday morning, Nola had been battling a bacterial infection and other health issues related to her old age, before things got more severe. "In the past 24 hours Nola's condition had worsened significantly," the post says. "Early this morning, the team made the difficult decision to euthanize her."

It is with profound sadness we announce that 41-year-old Nola, one of only 4 remaining northern white rhinos, has died....

Posted by San Diego Zoo Safari Park on Sunday, November 22, 2015

With Nola's death, only three northern white rhinos remain in the world, according to Scientific American. These rhinos are are kept in the high-security Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, where they are protected from poachers 24/7 by armed guards. The species has rapidly dwindled due to these poachers, who prize rhino horns; in 1960, there were over 2,000 northern white rhinos in the world. In 1984, only 15 remained. And now in 2015, we're down to three. Unreal.

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It's been a rough year for rhino loss at the San Diego Zoo; last December, Angalifu, another of the Safari Park's white rhinos died at age 44.

The San Diego Zoo is also urging people to get involved or make contributions to the Zoo's Global Wildlife Conservancy, to try to combat the extinction of rhinos.

Anyway, let's now remember the good times (you can also join in the Twitter eulogies of Nola by checking out the #Nola4Ever hashtag). Here's a sweet video of Nola being treated to a "spa day." So R.I.P., Nola. You ruled.