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Just after 7am on May 12th, four healthy Capybara babies were born at The RainForest exhibit of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. This litter almost doubles the zoo's Capybara population, bringing their total to nine individuals. The birth was a part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' Capybara Species Survival Program. This program helps zoos across the nation breed the species cooperatively in an effort to maintain a viable captive population.

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Photo Credits: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Capybaras are the largest rodent in the world growing up to four and a half feet long and weighing in at up to 150 pounds. Native to South America, they are found on all of the continent that lies east of the Andes Mountains. They are a highly social species who typically live in groups of 10-20 individuals, though groups of as large as 100 have been reported. The wild population of Capybara is considered stable and not threatened, though hunting for its meat and pelts has reduced populations in some of its range.

See more photos after the fold!

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