Zoo mourns loss of one of its own

Posted at: 01/03/2013 11:20 AM
Updated at: 01/03/2013 11:22 AM
By: KOB.com staff

Photo courtesy ABQ BioPark
Photo courtesy ABQ BioPark

The ABQ BioPark Zoo is mourning the loss of one of its animals.

Thursday morning the zoo humanely euthanized an 11-year old, female capybara due to age-related spinal issues and impaired mobility.

The capybara, named Ginger, had been under treatment for back problems and her condition worsened in recent weeks.

Despite medication, she had severe trouble walking and a deteriorating quality of life.

"Ginger really loved... bamboo and river cane, and cantaloupe," said zookeeper Ashten Mizell. "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 December 6, 2001 and came to Albuquerque in October of 2002.

Capybaras live 8-10 years in the wild.

Native to the dense tropical forests of Central and South America, capybaras are the world's largest rodent, weighing up to 130 pounds. With webbed feet, they are excellent swimmers and spend much of their time in the water.

Ginger was the last capybara in the zoo's exhibit.

The zoo does not have immediate plans for bringing in a new group of capybaras.