Capybara

You could be mistaken at first in thinking you were looking at a giant guinea pig or maybe some sort of giant beaver without a tail…the Capybara is in fact the world's largest rodent!

Capybara are found only in South America. 

In Panama, Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, French Guyana, Uruguay, Peru and Paraguay.

Capybara get on very well with other capybara and as such can live in groups of up to twenty at a time preferably near or on grassy wetland areas or close to rivers. They also have something in common with hippos; their eyes, nostrils and ears are all located at the top of their head meaning that it can learn all it needs to learn about its surroundings whilst keeping most of its body hidden underwater. Clever!

Conservation 

Although capybaras are currently considered to be of least concern of becoming extinct, their numbers have been affected by hunting in the past.

Capybara questions and answers

They’re quick in the water but are they as quick on land?
They certainly are, they have been known to run as fast as a horse!

Do they have many predators?
A few – namely caiman (which are related to crocodiles and alligators), ocelot, puma, jaguar and eagle.

Did I just see that Capybara eat his own poo?
Erm, yes you did. Nice eh? In fact it’s vital to their wellbeing as it gives them the much needed bacteria in their stomach to aid grass digestion.

Zoo Membership

We're proud to be members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Our membership means we share knowledge with leading zoos across the UK and Europe, and we learn from them too.