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An Ode To Pete The Rhino, By Craig Smith

03/03/12
  1. Written by: trailblazers  / avg. rating: 4.8



    One of the Oregon Zoo's rhinos, Pete (above), was euthanized on Feb. 21 due to kidney failure. He was 25.


    BY CRAIG SMITH

    On November 10, 2011 while I celebrated my 28th birthday
    The Western Black Rhino of Africa officially became extinct
    So what's the connection, you may ask?

    Since being labeled "The Rhino" during my rookie season in the NBA
    I have become a fan of anything rhinoceros related
    Through my research I have discovered that this nickname is very fitting

    Rhinoceros are said to be very aggressive
    Towards their human counter parts
    And are always on the defense ready to protect themselves at any cost
    I share these same characteristics in life

    So to hear that a fellow rhinoceros, Pete, had passed
    Was a very sad moment

    You see Pete and I are one and the same
    We both relocated to Portland for an opportunity at a new life
    Although our size can be intimidating and we can be pegged as aggressive
    In nature, we are able to differentiate between when it is necessary
    To be aggressive
    And when it is okay to be passive

    We both came to enjoy and appreciate the native Oregonians
    As they have come to appreciate us as well
    Even though I wasn't able to meet Pete before his untimely passing
    I feel a strange connection to him

    I applaud Michael Illig for making Pete feel at home
    From the moment he arrived and for the Oregonians
    Who supported Pete throughout his time at the Zoo

    I know Pete is looking down on us and is thankful
    For all the wonderful people he encountered who helped him
    And supported him while he was here

    (photo credit: Oregon Zoo)

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