WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Palm Beach Zoo is mourning the passing of two of their beloved animals.
Missy, a capybara, which is the largest rodent in the world, died on Thursday morning. Zoo officials say they found Missy's body in her exhibit.
A few hours later a young panther, almost 2-years-old, died from unknown complications following a surgical procedure to treat an abscess.
Zoo officials said their procedure went well and the cat at first appeared to recover quickly. However after 30 minutes Osceola stopped breathing, according to zoo officials.
Multiple attempts to resuscitate him were not successful.
"It is heartbreaking for all of us when we lose one of our animals," Jan Steele, General Curator for the Palm Beach Zoo, said in a release. "It is even harder to accept when we lose two, especially such beloved and well-known animals as Missy and Osceola."
Missy was 11-years-old and considered to be one of the oldest capybaras in captivity within the state of Florida.
Missy was nearly blind with inoperable cataracts in both eyes. She displayed good health in her last medical exam, despite her advanced age, the zoo said.
"Missy was a long-term staff favorite at the zoo, and was beloved by dedicated guests who have seen her with us for ten years," Steele said in a news release provided by the zoo. "We are glad she is not suffering, but she will be sorely missed."
The panther, Osceola, rose to fame after he was orphaned as a cub and rescued by the Puma Task Force/SSP at the Oregon Zoo. Once rehabilitated he came to the Palm Beach Zoo when he was four-months-old, according to zoo officials.
"It is always a shock when a young, otherwise healthy animal dies suddenly," said Steele. "When an animal was as charismatic as Osceola, staff members are especially devastated." Steele continued.