Christa, the beloved black rhinoceros at Caldwell Zoon in Tyler, TX, was diagnosed with a terminal tuberculosis, and according to reports was euthanized this morning (April 26).

”The public was not at risk of contracting TB from the rhino due to the way TB is transmitted,” said Texas Department of State Health Services Regional Zoonosis Control Veterinarian Brent Moore, DVM. “Transmission of TB requires a person to be in prolonged, close contact with an infected individual.”

It's a blow to a community who loved this rhino, black rhinoceros are critically endangered in the wild and were lucky in East Texas to have this beautiful rhino in our backyard for nearly 40 years. According to reports, Christa was born in 1986 at the San Antonio Zoo and had called the Caldwell Zoo home since July of 1987.

Christa, who was the oldest living rhino in North America, was named in honor of the  Sharon Christa McAuliffe, the American teacher and astronaut who was tragically killed aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986.

The black rhinoceros or hook-lipped rhinoceros is native to eastern and southern Africa. Christa lived a full life, as Black rhinos can live to be 35 – 40 years in the wild, but to as old as 50 in captivity.

Caldwell Zoo is home to more than "2,000 animals including zebras, giraffes, cheetahs, alligators, black bears, squirrel monkeys, flamingos, anteaters, black-footed penguins, parakeets and rosy-cheeked cockatiels. Come explore the African Savanna, North American and South American habitats and learn about all their inhabitants. There’s also the African Aquarium, the North America Herpetarium with snakes and frogs, and the Wild Bird Walkabout."

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