Dodoma: In a sad news for animal lovers and conservationists, the world’s oldest free-ranging female black rhino died in Tanzania at the age of 57 on Friday.

The female rhino, named Fausta, died of what is believed to be natural causes on December 27 in a sanctuary, after living most of her life in the wild, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority said in a statement on Saturday.

“Records show that Fausta lived longer than any rhino in the world and survived in the Ngorongoro, free-ranging, for more than 54 years before it was kept in a sanctuary for the last three years of its life in 2016,” said the statement.

The statement said the rhino was first located in the Ngorongoro crater in 1965 by a scientist from the University of Dar es Salaam, at the age between three and four years.

“The health of the rhino began to deteriorate in 2016, when we were forced to put the animal in captivity, after several attacks from hyenas that inflicted severe wounds on the rare animal,” said the statement.

It added that the rhino also lost sight, which further compromised its survival ability in the wild, adding that the rhino survived 57 years without bearing calves.

In the wild, rhinos typically live to between 37 and 43 years old, or up to 50 years in captivity. The eastern black rhino is listed as critically endangered.

(With Agency inputs)