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Baby rhino dies unexpectedly at Montgomery Zoo

Oct. 21, 2013 at 12:50 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala., Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Ethan, the first Indian rhinoceros to be born in the United States as a result of artificial insemination, died unexpectedly at the Montgomery Zoo in Alabama.

The 4-month-old rhino died Friday of unknown causes, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

Sarah McKemey, a public relations director for the zoo, said a necropsy will be performed to determine Ethan's cause of death.

"It is a shock and a loss to us for it to be so sudden and unexpected," McKemey said.

Indian rhinos are an endangered species; Ethan's birth, which was achieved by staff at the Montgomery Zoo impregnating female Jeta with sperm from Himal, a male rhino, was seen as a sign artificial insemination may help sustain the remaining population.

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