cgy-capybara

Two capybaras arrived at the Calgary Zoo in July. ((CBC))

A female capybara, the world's largest rodent, has died at the Calgary Zoo, less than six months after arriving at the facility.

The animal, named Adali, died on Saturday, zoo officials confirmed Thursday.

"Preliminary findings indicated that human error may have been a factor; therefore, the individual involved was immediately reassigned to non-animal care duties pending the results of the investigation," said Cathy Gaviller, director of conservation, education and research, in a statement.

The zoo's investigation should wrap up by early next week, she added.

Weighing up to 64 kilograms, or 140 pounds, a capybara has slightly webbed feet, a barrel-shaped body and no tail.

Adali, which means "noble," arrived at the zoo on July 9 from the Buffalo Zoo in New York with a male capybara named Pakhi to be part of a new display at the Calgary Zoo's South American pavilion. Both were about a year old.

Two other animals have died at the Calgary Zoo this year: In January, a stingray died of a parasite, and a two-year-old male Turkmenian markhor, a type of wild goat, perished after becoming entangled in a zoo toy suspended above a walkway.

The number of animals that have died at the zoo in recent years indicates a systemic problem, said Michael Alvarez-Toye, a spokesman for the Calgary Animal Rights Coalition.

"I don't think the current administration there has a handle on how to properly look after and how to take responsibility for these lives," he said.