One of world's oldest mountain chicken frogs passes away


Akron Zoo mourns the loss of 18-year-old Dominic

The Akron Zoo announced its male mountain chicken frog—Dominic—who was one of the oldest frogs in the world—passed away on Sunday, April 9, 2023. He would have turned 19 years old in 2 months. The average life expectancy for mountain chicken frogs is 12 years old.1

Photo courtesy of Akron Zoo.

Photo courtesy of Akron Zoo.

Recently, Dominic’s health had been gradually declining because of his age. Cataracts caused him to lose vision and his care team had been helping him with eating over the past several months. Within the last few weeks, his condition significantly deteriorated, and the difficult decision was made to humanely euthanize him.

Fun facts about mountain chicken frogs

  • They have powerful hind legs
  • They have remarkable patterns of dark bars and blotches which helps them camouflage against forest floors
  • Males are extremely territorial and have wrestling contests to obtain and defend territories
  • They have an unusual breeding system with a high degree of maternal care
  • They are 1 of just 2 native frog species on Montserrat in Spain

“Dominic’s age was a true testament to the mission here at the Akron Zoo,” said Doug Piekarz, president & CEO at the Akron Zoo, in an organizational release.1 “We provide exceptional care for every animal – big or small, furry or scaly – and those animals are able to connect our guests to wildlife and inspire lifelong learning. Dominic was no exception. Guests, adults and children alike, loved to see the ‘really big frog’ who was always there to greet them as they entered Komodo Kingdom.”

Dominic was born on June 12, 2004, at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. He arrived at the Akron Zoo in 2005 when the zoo opened the Komodo Kingdom Education Building, where he lived ever since.

Mountain chicken frogs are classified as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List.1 Native to to the Caribbean Islands of Dominica and Montserrat, there are fewer than 150 frogs estimated to remain in their native habitat due to a fungal disease, habitat loss, and hunting. This species of frog are one of the largest in the world as adults can grow to be more than 8 inches long and weigh up to 2 lbs.1

Dominic was the only mountain chicken frog at the Akron Zoo. Zoo staff will examine plans for the habitat in the future.


  1. One of the oldest mountain chicken frogs passes away. News release. Akron Zoo. April 9, 2023. Accessed April 13, 2023.
  2. Species fact sheet. Mountain chicken recovery program. Accessed April 13, 2023.
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