ONE of Marwell Wildlife’s most endangered species died today (Jan 10).

The park, based near Winchester, announced 29-year-old male white rhino Hannu died after struggling with severe arthritis.

He had been receiving veterinary care but his condition had rapidly deteriorated so staff were forced to euthanize him.

Hannu was one of three white rhinos at the park along with females Sula and Kiri, and they are one of the most endangered species in the world, hunted by poachers who mistakenly believe their horns have medicinal powers.

Phil Robbins, team leader at Marwell said: “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with such a gentle giant like Hannu.

“All the keepers on North section are going to thoroughly miss him. Although nine times out of 10 he was a gentlemen to Sula and Kiri, he could definitely assert his authority and put the girls back in their places when then they were naughty! “He liked nothing better than to go out into the paddock on hot, summer days with his girls and enjoy the sunshine, have a wallow and rearrange the logs and fence line. He’ll be greatly missed.”

Hannu was born at Knowsley Safari Park. He arrived at Marwell in 1997, where he fathered two male calves with Sula. The calves then went on to Flamingo Land to start families of their own.