SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Zoo Miami is mourning the death of a beloved meerkat.

Zoo officials said staff members making their rounds on Sunday were unable to find an almost 8-year-old meerkat named Gizmo.

After searching the habitat, staff found Gizmo’s body in what appeared to be a collapsed tunnel.

Zoo staff said they are waiting on the results of a necropsy, but it appears that Gizmo may have been inside the tunnel when it collapsed, trapping him inside.

“As part of the daily routine caring for the meerkats, zookeepers are very diligent about manually collapsing all the tunnels within the habitat at the end of each day in order to prevent the tragedy that apparently struck Gizmo,” the zoo said.

“Unfortunately, because the meerkats are constantly digging, another tunnel may have been quickly constructed following the keeper maintenance routine and sadly, because of the excessive rain we have experienced the last several days, it was unstable and collapsed.”

Zoo Miami said Gizmo was born at the Brevard Zoo in 2013 and came to South Florida in June 2018.

“Since his arrival, he has been a favorite among staff and guests alike and his loss has been devastating, especially for his keepers,” staff said.

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