According to Ngorongoro authorities in Tanzania, A 57-year-old black rhino, believed to be the oldest in the world, has died. The female rhino was named Fausta and died of what is believed to be natural causes on 27th December in the Ngorongoro conservation area sanctuary. Records show Fausta lived longer than any rhino in the world and lived as a free-range animal for more than 54 years in the wild before she was moved to a sanctuary in 2016. Fausta was first located in the Ngorongoro crater in 1965 by a scientist from the University of Dar Es Salaam, at the age between 3 and 4 years. She later in old age suffered from poor sight which compromised her survivability in the wild that In 2016 her health deteriorated due to severe attacks from hyenas and other predators hence severe wounds thereafter the Ngorongoro conservation sanctuary was forced to put her in captivity. Fausta lived and died without bearing calves.
Ngorongoro Conservation sanctuary and Wildlife conservation records estimate rhinos’ life expectancy to be between 37-43 in the wild while they can live to beyond 50 when in captivity.
In 2017 Sana, a female southern white rhino who was 55 years old was considered the world’s oldest white rhino when she died in captivity at the La Planete Sauvage Zoological Park in France.
Another old rhino called Elly was 46 years when she died on 11th May 2017 at her San Francisco zoo home In the USA.
According to charity Save The Rhino, black rhinos have been reduced by poaching to around 5500.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is the only safe haven for the few remaining black rhinos in Tanzania where 50 are protected under 24-hour camera surveillance inside the Ngorongoro crater. It’s the only site in East Africa with a big concentration of over 25,000 big African animals including zebras, elands, buffalos, wildebeests. Marking 60 years of NCA and the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA), Tanzania is now looking to increase the number of black rhinos in key national parks to boost photographic tourism safaris. Rhino conservation remains a key target for conservationists looking to ensure their survival after serious poaching almost depleted their numbers in past decades. The Tanzania rhino management program that was developed almost 20 years ago targets to increase the rhino population in protected parks under the management of TANAPA, NCA and the Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA). In past decades, rhinos used to roam freely between Tsavo West National Park in Kenya, and Mkomazi National Park in northern Tanzania, as well as Serengeti National park in Tanzania and Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya.