Hippo attacks, kills capybara at Fla. zoo
Aug. 17, 2007
GULF BREEZE --
(AP) -- A capybara at a Florida Panhandle zoo died after it was attacked by an adult hippopotamus, zoo officials said Thursday.
The capybara, a large aquatic rodent, died last week at The Zoo Northwest Florida, just a month after a baby hippo was fatally attacked by an adult hippo. It is not known if the same hippo killed the capybara last week because no one witnessed the animal's death, the zoo's veterinarian, Dr. Gus Mueller, said.
The adult hippo bit the capybara, causing severe injuries to its rear end and stomach areas, Mueller said.
''It was a terrible, terrible wound,'' Mueller said. ``But that's what hippos do.''
Also in July, an adult giraffe died after sustaining a neck injury at the zoo. The capybara, called Capy, is the seventh death at the zoo since January.
The Zoo Northwest Florida also has reported financial problems recently. Besides the deaths of several popular animals, the zoo faces a $3 million debt exacerbated by back-to-back hurricanes.