2005_12_rapunzel.jpgIf there was ever a call to donate money to Sumatran Rhinoceros preservation efforts, then none can be as heartbreaking as the NY Times' Christmas Eve story about Rapunzel the Bronx Zoo rhino who was euthanized earlier this week. Apparently, Rapunzel, whose estimated age was 30, about half of which was spent in the Bronx, had trouble moving and breathing this week. This telling of her life was very sweet:

In the summer, she usually stayed outdoors and swam in a pool. In the cold months, she split display time in an indoor exhibit with a pair of Malay tapirs.

[Pat] Thomas [the zoo's curator of mammals] said that in addition to willow, mulberry and maple leaves, Rapunzel was fond of fruit, especially bananas. She lived a simple life, he said. "She liked a warm hose," he said. "The keepers would groom her, brush her hair."

More about Sumatran rhinos from the World Wildlife Fun. And the Bronx Zoo has its Holiday LIghts up, but it is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas. But you can enjoy them through New Year's Day!