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WASHINGTON (AP) — The determined large rodent who briefly escaped his cage at the Smithsonian National Zoo last month has died.

Zoo officials say Macadamia the agouti, a South American rodent about the size of a large house cat, died Monday while receiving veterinary treatment after zookeepers realized something was wrong with him.

Officials say Macadamia’s escape was not a factor in his death. They say his habit of skittering around his habitat may have led to a head or neck injury, The Washington Post reports (

Macadamia chewed his way out of an enclosure July 15. Staffers found a hole in the stainless-steel mesh of the outdoor habitat.

Staffers kept Macadamia in sight while herding him into a contained space within 30 minutes and the hole in his enclosure was patched.


Information from: The Washington Post,