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National Zoo Agouti Briefly Escaped from the Small Mammal House

  • Agouti, a small furry mammal

Yesterday shortly after 7 p.m., a male agouti escaped from his outdoor enclosure behind the Small Mammal House at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. Agoutis are large beautiful rodents about the size of a large house cat. Zoo staff kept the animal in view and successfully herded him back into a contained space within 30 minutes. He is unharmed.

This new agouti, named Macadamia, is housed in an outdoor enclosure with two Geoffrey's marmosets. Staff located a small escape hole in the industrial stainless-steel mesh and deduced that the agouti chewed through the mesh. The hole has been patched with a heavy duty wire mesh, and all animals are accounted for. Macadamia will remain in an interior exhibit while his keepers conduct a full review of his outdoor enclosure. He arrived at the National Zoo a few months ago and has yet to be introduced to his mate, Hazelnut.

For more information about agoutis, visit the Zoo's website.

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Photo Credit: Clyde Nishimura, FONZ Photo Club