Photo: Zoo mourns loss of last capybara

January 3rd, 2013 at 3:05 pm by under Latest Posts

Old age and health problems have claimed Ginger the capybara, the last of her species of giant rodents residing at the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo.

Ginger, 11, was humanely euthanized this morning after treatment for age-related spinal problems and impaired mobility failed to stem her deteriorating quality of life, according to a statement from the zoo.

“Ginger really loved browse, liked bamboo and river cane, and cantaloupe,” zookeeper Ashten Mizell said in the statement. “We’ll miss seeing her in the pool on sunny days.

“When she started having trouble walking, we put in a carpet to give her extra traction and she seemed to enjoy rolling around on it.”

Ginger was born on Dec. 6, 2001, and came to the zoo about a year later.

Capybaras, native to the tropical forests of Central and South America, generally live 8-10 years in the wild and can reach 130 pounds making them the world’s largest rodent.  Their webbed feet also make them excellent swimmers.

For now the zoo has no plans for bringing in a new group of capybaras.

Ginger the capybara. Photo: Albuquerque BioPark.

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