Staff members at a South Florida zoo were saddened when two of their animals died just hours apart.
Palm Beach Zoo officials say Missy, an 11-year-old capybara, and Osceola, a nearly-2-year-old Florida panther, died Thursday in unrelated incidents.
The Palm Beach Post reports that Missy was a crowd favorite since arriving at the zoo in 2003. The large South American rodent had gone nearly blind from cataracts in recent years, but her latest medical exams showed she was healthy. She was found dead by keepers Thursday morning.
More of a surprise to zoo officials was Osceola's death. The young cat had undergone a surgery on a lump and was recovering when he suddenly stopped breathing.
Veterinarians were unable to revive him. Keepers are now giving Osceola's brother, Micco, extra attention.