The Akron Zoo’s mountain chicken frog, Dominic, passed away on Sunday, April 9. The male frog was one of the oldest mountain chicken frogs in the world. Dominic would have turned 19 years old in two months. The average life expectancy for mountain chicken frogs is 12 years old.
Dominic’s health had been slowly declining due to his age. He had lost his vision due to cataracts and his care team had been assisting him with eating over the last several months. Recently in the last few weeks, his condition worsened and the difficult decision was made to humanely euthanize him.
Dominic was born on June 12, 2004 at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. He came to live at the Akron Zoo in 2005 when the zoo opened the Komodo Kingdom Education Building, where he resided ever since.
“Dominic’s age was a true testament to the mission here at the Akron Zoo,” said Doug Piekarz, president & CEO at the Akron Zoo. “We provide exceptional care for every animal – big or small, furry or scaly – and those animals are able to connect our guests to wildlife and inspire lifelong learning. Dominic was no exception. Guests, adults and children alike, loved to see the ‘really big frog’ who was always there to greet them as they entered Komodo Kingdom.”
Mountain chicken frogs are classified as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List. They are native to the Caribbean Islands of Dominica and Montserrat. Fewer than 150 frogs are estimated to remain in their native habitat due to a fungal disease, habitat loss and hunting. These frogs are one of the largest in the world – adults can grow to be more than eight inches long and weigh up to two pounds.
Dominic was the only mountain chicken frog at the Akron Zoo. Zoo staff will evaluate plans for the habitat in the future.