RIP Boom Boom: Famous Catskill Game Farm alum dies in Arizona park

Above: A video of Boom Boom the rhino getting some TLC from a keeper at the Out Of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde, Arizona. Filmed in 2010.

One of the now-defunct Catskill Game Farm's most famous animals, Boom Boom the white rhino, died of cancer this week at his home in the Out Of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde, Arizona. He was 41.

In six years at the Arizona park, Boom Boom made a big impression, the local Verde Independent writes:

"He made everyone feel special. The visitors, the staff, they all loved him because he seemed to have unconditional love for everyone he met," says Dean Harrison, owner of Out of Africa Wildlife Park and the man who in 2006, offered Boom Boom refuge from certain death.

When the Catskill Game Farm closed in 2006, the animals were auctioned off. Boom Boom was rescued by clothing designer Marc Ecko from a Texas buyer who hoped to use him in a canned hunt.

The Daily Mail reports that Boom Boom is still remembered around here:

Former Cairo Chief of Police Floyd Hempstead worked security at the Game Farm for more than 30 years and was on staff until its closing on Columbus Day, 2006. The 85-year-old recalls the rhinos well.

“We had the first white rhinos around,” Hempstead said Tuesday. “They were very popular.”

At 41, Boom Boom lived a typical lifespan for a rhino in captivity. The San Diego Zoo puts the lifespan of a rhino at 40 to 45 years.