After 19 days on the lam, Toronto Wildlife Centre staff and volunteers have captured one of two capybaras that broke out of the High Park Zoo – an escape that set the city abuzz and inspired all manner of jokes on social media.
The large rodent, which is indigenous to South America, was lured into a metal cage in the southeast corner of the park Sunday evening. Search teams turned to traps baited with corn after initial attempts to proactively find and follow the animals – a method that often attracted onlookers, and inevitably, television cameras – were unsuccessful.
The only bystander to witness Sunday’s capture was a jogger, Emma Renda, who filmed the final moments of the capture and posted the video on Instagram. After locating the capybara, workers backed away to give the animal space. Not long after, Ms. Renda said she “heard a clang.” The search team descended on the cage and began high-fiving each other, she said.
Sarah Doucette, the Toronto councillor whose ward includes High Park, posted a photo of herself and the 12-member rescue team on Facebook, notifying the public that the animal is “resting off site for now.”
The capybaras escaped on May 24, the same day they arrived at the zoo after being purchased from a breeder in Texas. The longer they have eluded capture, the more attention they have generated. Fans have created mock Twitter accounts, and artists have created logos for the fugitive animals, replacing the Toronto Blue Jays logo with a rendering of a capybara.
The other capybara remains at large.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that City of Toronto officials recaptured the capybara. In fact, city officials attempted to capture it but were not successful until Toronto Wildlife Centre staff got involved. This online version has been corrected.Report Typo/Error