JENKS, Oklahoma - A beaver kit rescued from a Grand Lake boat slip last year and placed in the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks has died.

In a news release, the aquarium said Rocky died of natural causes Saturday.

Oklahoma Aquarium caretakers became concerned Saturday when Rocky refused to eat during his morning feeding time.  Staff members sought emergency veterinary care, as Rocky’s condition appeared to be deteriorating rapidly.  They said efforts to revive Rocky were unsuccessful and he died late Saturday afternoon. 

“The report we’ve received from the veterinarian indicates there was an intestinal rupture,” said John Money, Oklahoma Aquarium Curator. 

“We have no way of knowing what caused the weakness in his intestinal lining, but it was likely an undetectable genetic defect that Rocky had since birth.” 

Rocky was placed with the aquarium last December through Wild Heart Ranch in Claremore.  

Wild Heart Ranch said Rocky was brought to their facility, after he was discovered trapped and nearly drowned in Grand Lake.  

“Although his life was short, he was an amazing ambassador for his species,” said Annette King, President of Wild Heart Ranch. 

“Rocky had no options for release and his placement at the Oklahoma Aquarium was a gift to them and us and all who loved him.”  

Both the Oklahoma Aquarium and Wild Heart Ranch say they will work to find an appropriate addition to the beaver portion of the Hayes Family Ozark Stream exhibit. 

The aquarium says an older beaver remains in the exhibit.  That beaver was also placed by Wild Heart Ranch 10 years ago.