Zoo launches investigation after entire population of its Capybara attraction suddenly drops dead
A theme park zoo has launched an investigation after the entire population of one of its animal attractions suddenly died.
The deaths of the Capybara population - a type of rodent - at Chessington World of Adventures has been shrouded in mystery.
Visitors to the south west London park wanting to take part in the rodent feeding session were told the animals had 'sadly' passed away, leaving many puzzled and distraught.
All three of the animals died last month but staff have launched a probe into how they died.
The cause of death is still unknown.
The popular zoo has no plans to bring in new ones until the mystery surrounding the untimely deaths has been solved.
Capybaras are the world's biggest rodent and are loved by many at the family-friendly zoo for their chunky snouts and friendliness towards humans.
They are native to South America and are often comparable in appearance to overgrown guinea pigs.
Chessington assured it is working closely with vets to decipher the cause of death and has no plans to bring new ones in until the investigation has finished.
A spokesperson said: 'It is with great sadness that we can confirm the death of our three capybaras.
'External veterinary experts are working closely with our dedicated welfare team to conduct a thorough investigation into why the animals sadly passed away.
'This investigation remains ongoing and until we know the results, we wouldn't be making any decisions on bringing new capybaras in.
'We know our capybaras are extremely popular with our guests, and were much loved by all of us here, especially our dedicated zoo team.'