Colchester Zoo has announced the death of its beloved 27-year-old white rhino. 

Otto, was a popular animal at the zoo and died on Friday, during a veterinary procedure that required anaesthesia. 

A spokesman for the zoo said: "Otto was under veterinary observation which ultimately led us to have to further investigate via general anaesthesia. 

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"Unfortunately, Otto, passed away whilst under anaesthesia despite all best efforts to help him.

"It’s always difficult when an animal passes away, especially one with a big personality that has been at the zoo for so many years, they truly are one of the family.

"Otto leaves a huge hole in our hearts, but we have many cherished memories of him which will last forever.

"Our Animal Care Team are currently processing the loss of their beloved friend and would like to thank everyone for their support during this difficult time."

Otto, born in 1997, came to Colchester Zoo in 2009 from Knuthenborg Safari Park in Bandholm, Denmark.

While at the north Essex zoo, Otto has sired six calves with his latest offspring, Dara, born in January 2023.