Missy the Capybara Gets a New Home

As many of our dedicated zoo-goers may have noticed Missy can sometimes be seen having difficulties getting out of the water in her Tropics of the Americas habitat. 

During a recent medical exam Missy was found to be in near perfect health.  Zoo staff was able to confirm that due to Missy’s advanced age, she has developed inoperable cataracts in both eyes making it extremely difficult for her to see where she is going.  By moving Missy to a new habitat, she will have a much easier time getting in and out of the water.

To make getting around easier for Missy, her keepers have begun making many modifications to the Ceñoté habitat found on the boardwalk leading from the American alligators to the Tropics of the Americas. Branches have been removed that would be at the same height as Missy’s head, vegetation has been cleared to remove any tripping hazards and her barn has been modified to make it easier for her to enter and exit.

The next time you visit, make sure to stop by and say hello to Missy! She is the perfect example of how our dedicated staff care for aging animals.  Missy’s continued success can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of not only her keepers but the Zoo’s vet, maintenance and horticulture staff – they have all worked tirelessly to get Missy and her new home ready for her arrival!

Missy arrived at the Palm Beach Zoo in September 2003 from the Alexandria Zoological Park and has called South Florida home ever since.  The average lifespan for capybaras in captivity is approximately twelve years of age.  In the wild, capybaras can be expected to live between six and ten years.  Being born on October 2, 2002 makes Missy one of the oldest capybaras in the state of Florida, if not one of the oldest in the Country!

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