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Staff at Taronga Western Plains Zoo have been grateful for the many messages of support received from the public following the recent sad  loss of four White Rhinos.

Zoo General Manager Matt Fuller said: “ Right now the  staff are fully focussed on providing care to our remaining White Rhinos and progressing the veterinary investigation, but the messages of sympathy from the community have been passed on and these are really appreciated.

“Our inquiries are in full swing and we’ve been able to rule out many causes of death, including bacterial infection, toxins in the Rhinos’ environment or feed, and many types of viruses.

“However, it’s a complex investigation, as it relies on a whole array of testing and the subsequent  results. We know that the illness relates to a neurological abnormality and we’ve taken extensive tissue samples.  For some answers  we now have to wait for histopathology results, which may be available next week, but also virology cultures which can take several weeks to grow for identification.

As soon as we have any further results to report, we will do so. I can confirm that no other species have been affected by the illness.

In the mean time, I know that people will understand that our focus must be dedicated to animal care and furthering our enquiries to understand the cause of this illness.”