Akron Zoo's elderly capybara passes away


The Akron Zoo’s capybara, Atlantis, passed away on Saturday, Oct. 22. Her care team noticed a steep decline in the geriatric capybara’s health and the zoo’s vet staff performed a full exam. The exam revealed several abnormalities due to age-related conditions and the difficult decision was made to humanely euthanize Atlantis.

Atlantis was 10 years old. The median life expectancy for female capybaras is 8.6 years. She was born on Sept. 6, 2012 at the Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas. She made the move to the Akron Zoo in August 2014. 

As an accredited facility through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Akron Zoo participates in the Capybara Species Survival Plan (SSP). The SSP is a scientifically managed breeding program that promotes genetic diversity in endangered species. Atlantis was well known to Akron Zoo guests for her unique personality as a capybara who enjoyed her alone time. 

“We are heartbroken at the loss of Atlantis. She will be missed by all the staff at the Akron Zoo, along with her many fans,” said Shelley Orloski, career pathways manager at the Akron Zoo and Capybara SSP program leader for AZA. “While the SSP makes breeding recommendations for capybaras, our primary goal is the health and wellbeing of every individual animal. Atlantis had let us know over the years that she preferred to be solitary. I’m grateful to the Akron Zoo for making every accommodation for Atlantis and for embracing the spunky capybara for who she was as an individual.”