KUSHIRO, Hokkaido (Kyodo) A 126-cm giant salamander on display for 45 years at Obihiro Zoo in Hokkaido and deemed a national natural treasure died last weekend, the zoo said.
End of the line: A 126-cm giant salamander appears at Hokkaido's Obihiro Zoo in July. The amphibian, believed over 55 years old, died Sunday. OBIHIRO ZOO/KYODO PHOTO
The 19-kg amphibian was the longest-kept and oldest giant salamander in Japan. Records at the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums put its age at over 55.
"It had just appeared on the cover of the summer edition of our newsletter. I'm disappointed," zoo director Ken Fujikawa said.
"It wasn't that spectacular in appearance but amazed us for living so long."