Death of Mshindi: Denver Zoo’s Champion, Painter, Warrior Black Rhino

by DerdriuMarriner

Death ends a 21-year life cycle and natural history outside Africa for Denver Zoo’s champion, painter, warrior black rhino Mshindi on September 16, 2015.

Mshindi carried lots of weight above four legs

The name Mshindi in Swahili assumes the meaning “champion” or “warrior” in English. Its most beloved and current use brings to mind the 21-year life cycle and natural history of Denver Zoo’s celebrated painter, the black rhino Mshindi. The biological, cultural, linguistic, and zoological association comes to an end with death on September 16 exactly where Mshindi’s bio-geography and biography begin on November 13, 1993 as the newborn of north-central Colorado-sheltered black rhinoceros parents Lij and Rhinestone.

So Mshindi’s demise does not come about in the dreaded ways in the wild, through the traps and weapons of those who represent the interests of:

• agro-industrial developers;
• dagger handle-makers;
• hide/horn/meat processors;
• ritual-minded villagers;
• road builders;
• traditional medicine-mixers;
• trophy hunters.

*****

Daily Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Physical Address: 2300 Steele Street, Denver, CO 80205-4899
Telephone: 720 - 337 - 1400

Websites:
• http://www.denverzoo.org/
• https://www.facebook.com/DenverZoo
• https://twitter.com/DenverZoo?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

*****

Entrance to Denver Zoo: lifelong home of Mshindi

City Park, east-central Denver, north central Colorado
City Park, east-central Denver, north central Colorado

Mshindi developed painful infections in all four feet

 

Mshindi’s passing nevertheless expresses advantages and disadvantages of captive, confined, conserved animals in the Denver Zoo of:

  • Association of Zoos and Aquariums accreditation;
  • 600 animal conservation projects involving 60+ countries and 7 continents;
  • 4,300 animals representing 600+ species.

Denver Zoo indeed finds conservation revenues, extra-local interest, and household recognition from:

  • arranging $60 Meet-‘n-Greet rhino encounter admissions (until Mshindi’s biting -- with some of his 12 molars and 12 pre-molars -- a female guest’s finger during fruit-, grain-, hay-, vegetable-feeding in August 2013);
  • juggling carrot and yam snack-sharing and interspecies friendships between Bodie the lab-collie Wonder Dog and Mshindi in 2014.

It generates patrons and researchers by selling Mshindi’s canvases, painted with mouth-held brushes and positioned by keepers. 

 

Shy Anne (December 11, 1982 - February 7, 2014) at Denver Zoo on May 8, 2009, about 8 years 7 months after her transfer from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

City Park, east central Denver, north central Colorado
City Park, east central Denver, north central Colorado

Mshindi endured 1-1/2 years full of 20 procedures/therapies

 

A conserved venue helps Mshindi socialize, wild-like, with:

  • Bandhu (born May 18, 2009) the painter and Tensing (born 2007?/2008?), San Diego and Columbus Zoo wildlife park-born Indian (greater-horned) rhinoceroses;
  • Shy Anne (December 11, 1982 – February 7, 2014), San Antonio Zoo-born black rhinoceros.

It is wild-like with:

  • females herding juvenile males and unmated females;
  • males soloing on exclusive or overlapping home ranges.

It juggles wild-like breeding and maturing when mates feed and sleep together every 2 to 5 years, September to November and March to July, before birthing 88.18-pound (40-kilogram) singles 419 to 478 days later for:

  • scrub-/shrub-/thicket-/thornbush-foraging at 2 years;
  • self-reliance at 2.5 to 3.5 years;
  • sexual maturity for 4- to 6-year-old females, 7- to 9-year-old males. 

 

Good friends: Shy Anne (reclining, foreground) and Mshindi (standing) on August 7, 2008

Save the Rhino estimates the population of conserved and wild Black Rhinos (Diceros bicornis) as dwindling to 5,055 in the 21st century.
City Park, east central Denver, north central Colorado
City Park, east central Denver, north central Colorado

Mshindi found customized boots unhelpful, daily activities daunting

 

Park-, reserve-, and zoo-keepers know how to mature black rhinoceroses to:

  • 19.69-inch (50-centimeter) male horn-lengths, 53.50-inch (135.9-centimeter) female horn-lengths;
  • 55.12- to 70.87-inch (140- to 180-centimeter) shoulder heights;
  • 118.11- to 147.64-inch (300- to 375-centimeter) head-body lengths;
  • 1,763.69- to 3,086.47-pound (800- to 1,400-kilogram) weights.

Experience and expertise lead them to emergency, long-term, and short-term care decisions regarding black rhino emotional, mental, physical, psychological, and social needs. But per Liverpudlian guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter/vocalist John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1940), life moves along while plans busily are made.

And so Mshindi numbers among the world’s animals that are saved from extermination or extinction in the wild only to expire in confined captivity and conservation despite modern medical/scientific/technological advances. 

 

Mshindi enjoying sunshiny nap, March 12, 2012:

In addition to talents as brush painter, Mshindi cooperated perfectly with "Sit!" commands, sitting on queue.
City Park, east central Denver, north central Colorado
City Park, east central Denver, north central Colorado

Acknowledgment

 

My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources. 

 

Black rhino depicted as petroglyph at Twyfelfontein (Afrikaans: "uncertain spring"), officially known as ǀUi-ǁAis (Damara/Nama: "jumping waterhole"), in northwestern Namibia:

Valley site of rock engravings has been occupied for over 6,000 years, firstly by Wilton stone age hunters-gatherers and then taken over by Khoikhoi of southwestern Africa 2500 - 2000 years ago.
Kunene Region, northwestern Namibia
Kunene Region, northwestern Namibia

Sources Consulted

 

Alter, Charlotte. 18 September 2015. “Rhino That Could Paint Dies at Denver Zoo.” Time Inc. Network > Time > Newsfeed > Animals. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://time.com/4041288/rhino-paint-denver-zoo/

Andersen-Vie, Sean; and Camp, Scott. 17 September 2015. “Denver Zoo Mourning Loss of Black Rhinoceros ‘Mshindi’.” MarketWired > News Room. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/denver-zoo-mourning-loss-of-black-rhinoceros-mshindi-2056582.htm
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Asmar, Melanie. 21 November 2011. “George the Rare Black Rhino, R.I.P.: Denver Zoo Euthanizes 28-Year-Old Endangered Animal.” Westword > News. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://www.westword.com/news/george-the-rare-black-rhino-rip-denver-zoo-euthanizes-28-year-old-endangered-animal-5854473

Associated Press. 28 August 2013. “Black Rhino at Denver Zoo Bites Woman’s Finger during ‘Meet and Greet’.” Fox News > U.S. Home > Odd News. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/28/black-rhino-at-denver-zoo-bites-woman-finger-during-meet-and-greet/

Associated Press. 10 February 2014. “Denver Zoo Euthanizes Ailing Black Rhino.” KJCT 8 > Headlines List. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://www.kjct8.com/home/headlines/Denver-Zoo-euthanizes-ailing-black-rhino-244631071.html

Associated Press. 18 September 2015. “Denver Zoo’s Black Rhino Dies.” Colorado Public Radio > News > NewsBeat. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ https://www.cpr.org/news/newsbeat/denver-zoos-black-rhino-dies

Avalos, Regina. 19 September 2015. “Denver Zoo’s Black Rhinoceros Mourned : Beloved Painting Rhino Put to Sleep Because of Health.” Inquisitr > Animal News. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://www.inquisitr.com/2431423/denver-zoos-black-rhinoceros-mourned-beloved-painting-rhino-put-to-sleep-because-of-health/

Conelo, Deniano. 20 September 2015. “Denver Zoo: Black Rhinoceros Mshindi Dies, Staff Mourns Loss.” Techmo > Science. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://www.techtya.com/denver-zoo-black-rhinoceros-mshindi-dies-staff-mourns-loss-1935309

Denver Zoo. 31 October 2013. “Denver Zoo Greater One-horned Rhino Enjoys Halloween Treat, Eventually.” YouTube. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGAResGOReI

“Denver Zoo Mourning Loss of Black Rhinoceros ‘Mshindi’.” Denver Zoo > Monthly Archive > September 2015 > 17 September 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://denverzoo.org/denver-zoo-mourning-loss-black-rhinoceros-“mshindi”

“Denver Zoo Mourns Death of Black Rhinoceros Known for His Painting.” CBS Denver > Local > 17 September 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/09/17/denver-zoo-mourns-death-of-black-rhinoceros-known-for-his-painting/

“Denver Zoo Rhino Dies, 6th Oldest in North American Zoos.” CBS Denver > Local. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGAResGOReI

“Diceros bicornis: Black Rhinoceros.” Denver Zoo > Animals > Mammals. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://www.denverzoo.org/animals/black-rhinoceros

Draper, Electa. 1 June 2012. “Elephants on Parade at New Denver Zoo Habitat, Which Opens to Public.” The Denver Post > Colorado Breaking News, Sports, Weather, Traffic, Jobs. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://www.denverpost.com/ci_20755826/pachyderms-parade-at-new-denver-zoo-habitat-which

Duel, Diana. 19 September 2015. “Denver’s Beloved Painting Rhino Put Down.” Examiner > Life > Pets > General Pets. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://www.examiner.com/article/denver-s-beloved-painting-rhino-put-down

Garrison, Robert. 28 August 2013. “Woman Injured Feeding Rhino at Denver Zoo.” 9 News > Local News As Seen on 9NEWS Evenings. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://host-29.242.54.159.gannett.com/news/article/352635/188/Woman-injured-feeding-rhino-at-Denver-Zoo

Grzimek, Bernhard. 2003. Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia. Mammals I-V Edited by Melissa C. McDade. 17-Volume Second Edition under the Supervision of Michael Hutchins. Detroit, MI, U.S.A.: Gale.

Hernandez, Brian. 7 February 2014. “Denver Zoo Mourns Loss of Black Rhinoceros ‘Shy Anne’; 31-Year-Old was 6th Oldest in North America.” The Denver Channel > News > Local News. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/denver-zoo-mourns-loss-of-black-rhinoceros-shy-anne-31-year-old-was-6th-oldest-in-north-america02072014

Hernandez, Elizabeth. 17 September 2015. “Denver Zoo Mourns the Loss of Black Rhinoceros.” Denver Post > Denver and the West. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_28831354/denver-zoo-mourns-loss-black-rhinoceros

Kapusta, Michelle. 18 September 2015. “Critically Endangered Black Rhino Dies at Denver Zoo.” The Celebrity Café > Features > News. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://thecelebritycafe.com/feature/2015/09/critically-endangered-black-rhino-dies-denver-zoo

Noon, Alison. 7 February 2014. “Ailing Female Rhino at Denver Zoo Euthanized at Age 31.” The Denver Post > Denver and the West. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25087438/ailing-rhino-euthanized-at-denver-zoo

Nowak, Ronald M. 1999. Walker’s Mammals of the World. Volume II. Sixth Edition. Baltimore, MD, U.S.A.; and London, England, U.K.: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Oravetz, Janet. 17 “Denver Zoo Mourns Loss of Mshindi the Rhino.” 9 News > Local. September 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/denver-zoo-mourning-loss-of-black-rhinoceros-mshindi-2056582.htm  

“Painting Rhino Mourned: Denver Zoo Black Rhinoceros.” Associated Post United States of America > World News > 19 September 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • @ http://apusa.us/painting-rhino-mourned-denver-zoo-black-rhinoceros-37261/

Sommariva, Kelly. 9 October 2014. “Rhino, Rescue Dog Become Pals at Denver Zoo.” 9 News. Retrieved September 24, 2013.

  • Available @ http://www.9news.com/story/life/2014/10/09/rhino-and-rescue-dog-become-pals-at-denver-zoo/16984897/

“Woman Hospitalized with Rhino Bite at Denver Zoo.” UPI > Odd News > 29 August 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2015.

  • Available @ http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2013/08/29/Woman-hospitalized-with-rhino-bite-at-Denver-Zoo/51241377814758/ 

 

Denver Zoo Lights, December 24, 2014: 24th annual Zoo Lights, December 5, 2014 - January 4, 2015, on more than 40 acres, included Diceros bicornis in light tributes to Denver Zoo's crowd-pleasing animals.

City Park, east central Denver, north central Colorado
City Park, east central Denver, north central Colorado
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Photo Jigsaw Puzzle of male Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis), Phinda private game reserve, KwaZulu: photo by Ann and Steve Toon ~ Available now via Amazon

10x14 Photo Puzzle with 252 pieces. Packed in black cardboard box 5 5/8 x 7 5/8 x 1 1/5. Puzzle artwork 5x7 affixed to box top.
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Hoodie: grey-background hoodie with Black Rhino image ~ Available now as Pullover Hoodie ~ Available now via AllPosters

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Unique 14K gold jewelry design made in America by Magic Zoo Artist Merry Rosenfield, who notes: "I created this piece with respect and the hope that the wild rhino will continue to roam it's habitat for as long as the earth turns on it's axis."
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Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 09/24/2015, DerdriuMarriner
 
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DerdriuMarriner on 04/28/2016

MBC, Mshindi's story of love and valor deserves to be told and re-told. She's lucky to have had as caregivers the Denver Zoo staff.
Lights exhibits tend to show really well in gardens and zoos, such as Norfolk and Denver, even though among my favorites also are the Christmas and Easter lightings in the much more confined SLC Temple Square.

MBC on 04/21/2016

So sad to lose Mshindi. I love to see the Denver Zoo lights exhibit - try to go every year.

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