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Black Rhino Receives Treatment at Potter Park Zoo

June 14th, 2012

Jello, a 6 year old male rhino at Potter Park Zoo, is receiving medical treatment for a recent episode of seizures.

“We are monitoring his health very closely all hours of the day,” says Dr. Tara Harrison, veterinarian at Potter Park Zoo.

On the morning of Monday, June 4th, zookeepers noticed the rhino having a seizure off exhibit. He was started on treatment immediately. Throughout the day, the rhino had multiple seizures and was given anti-seizure medications. By the end of the day, he responded to the medications and has not experienced a seizure since that Monday evening.

“Jello will remain on medication for at least six months and possibly longer depending on how he responds to treatment,” Dr. Harrison explains.

The rhino arrived to Potter Park Zoo one year ago by way of Zoo Miami, where he also had a history of occasional seizures. Since last week’s incident, Jello has been tested for infections and various diseases. All results have come back negative, suggesting that he may have epilepsy or an epilepsy-like issue. Although there is no record of such a condition in the black rhino species, there are reports of epilepsy in Indian rhinos.

Potter Park Zoo began introducing its male and female rhinos to each other earlier this season. Further introductions will depend on Jello’s condition and his response to his treatments. He will remain under close observation both on and off exhibit.

Potter Park Zoo would like to thank the MSU veterinary school, McLaren Greater Lansing and Sparrow Health System for their assistance in the treatment of Jello.