National Zoo

Agouti Who Briefly Escaped Cage at National Zoo Dies

The determined agouti who briefly escaped his cage at the Smithsonian National Zoo last month has died.

Zoo officials say Macadamia, a South American rodent about the size of a large house cat, died Monday while receiving veterinary treatment after zookeepers realized something was wrong with him.

Officials say Macadamia's escape was not a factor in his death. They say his habit of skittering around his habitat may have led to a head or neck injury.

Macadamia chewed his way out of an enclosure on July 15. Staffers found a hole in the stainless-steel mesh of the outdoor habitat.

Staffers kept Macadamia in sight while herding him into a contained space within 30 minutes and the hole in his enclosure was patched.

Macadamia was new to the zoo, arriving just a few months ago. He was brought to the zoo to breed with an agouti named Hazelnut. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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