SALINA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Rolling Hills Zoo announced on their Facebook page Monday the death of Augustus “Gus,” a southern white rhino born at the Zoo on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021.

“Known for his playful behavior, Gus began exhibiting neurological-type symptoms on Thursday, which stayed consistent over the next few days,” the RHZ said. “Despite our zoo veterinary staff’s extensive efforts to determine the cause of the symptoms along with help from veterinarians and rhino experts across the country and around the world, the answers they searched for did not come.”

The RHZ says that by Sunday morning, Gus’s quality of life had decreased to the point that it was decided to humanely euthanize him.

“It all happened so fast, but I am certain our animal care team and veterinary staff did absolutely everything they could. At this point, our staff is heartbroken,” said Ryan VanZant, RHZ executive director. “While it is so soul-fulfilling working with and on behalf of these amazing animals, it is soul-crushing when they leave us.”

At this time, the RHZ says there is no concern for the health of Evey, Gus’s mother.

“The remains have been sent to Kansas State School of Veterinary Medicine for a necropsy with hopes that out of tragedy, something can be learned that will help rhino populations in the future,” the RHZ said.

If you would like to make a donation in honor of Gus to the International Rhino Foundation, you can do so by clicking here.