Capybara

Belfast Zoo Has New ‘Happy Capy’ Pups

(1)  Belfast Zoo keepers are hearing the ‘pitty patter’ of tiny webbed feet with the arrival of four capybara babies.

Belfast Zoo keepers are hearing the ‘pitter patter’ of tiny webbed Capybara feet as the parents, Charlie and Lola, welcomed four pups on May 10.

Capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) are the largest rodent species in the world. These rodents are found in South America and are semi-aquatic mammals. They have webbed feet and can stay underwater for up to five minutes, which allows them to hide from predators. In fact, their scientific name even means ‘water hog’.

Zoo curator, Alyn Cairns, said “Our Capybaras live with some other South American ‘amigos’, including Giant Anteaters and Darwin’s Rhea. We have said ‘hola’ to quite a few new arrivals in this enclosure recently including a baby Giant Anteater, Darwin’s Rhea chicks and now four Capybara babies. We couldn’t be more delighted."   

Cairns continued, "While the Capybara is not currently classified as an endangered species, it is hunted and poached for its meat and skin. It is important that zoos, such as Belfast Zoo, help to raise awareness of this species and the increasing dangers which they face in their natural habitat. We have no doubt that our South American babies will soon be a firm favourite with visitors!”

(2)  The latest arrivals were born to mum, Lola and dad, Charlie.

(3)  Capybaras are the largest rodent species in the world.

(4)   The latest arrivals were born on 10 May 2016.Photo Credits: Belfast Zoo

The Capybara is a large rodent of the genus Hydrochoerus of which the only other extant member is the lesser Capybara (Hydrochoerus isthmius). Although a close relative of Guinea Pigs and Rock Cavies, it is more distantly related to the Agouti, Chinchillas, and the Coypu. Native to South America, the Capybara inhabits savannas and dense forests and prefers to live near bodies of water. They are social and can be found in groups of up to 100 individuals.

Their bodies have been specially adapted for swimming - with webbed feet and their eyes, ears and nostrils located on top of their heads. They are able to stay submerged in water for around five minutes to help avoid detection by predators such as Jaguars, Anacondas and Caiman in their native South America.

Capybaras are herbivores, grazing mainly on grasses and aquatic plants, as well as fruit and tree bark. Their jaw hinge is not perpendicular and they chew food by grinding back-and-forth rather than side-to-side.

They are incredibly vocal animals, communicating through barks, whistles, huffs and purrs.

They have a gestation period of about 130 to 150 days and usually produce a litter of four. Newborn Capybaras will join the rest of the group as soon as they are mobile. Within a week, the offspring can eat grass, but they will continue to suckle, from any female in the group, until about 16 weeks.

You can support the care of Belfast Zoo’s Capybaras by taking part in the animal adoption scheme. Find out more at www.belfastzoo.co.uk/adoption .

(5)  Keep up to date with Belfast Zoo news at www.belfastzoo.co.uk

(6)  Belfast Zoo's capybaras share their home with some other South American 'amigos' including giant anteaters and Darwin's rheas.

(7)  There will be animal feeding times throughout this bank holiday weekend!  Call by to see Belfast Zoo's latest arrivals.


Tiny Capybara Explores with Mum at Chester Zoo

1_A baby capybara is accompanied by its mother as they explore their enclosure at Chester Zoo (3)

A Capybara was born October 19th at Chester Zoo in the UK. Although just over two-weeks-old, the tiny youngster can already walk and swim. The newborn rodent has also begun eagerly exploring the exhibit with mum.

2_A baby capybara is accompanied by its mother as they explore their enclosure at Chester Zoo (1)

3_A baby capybara is accompanied by its mother as they explore their enclosure at Chester Zoo (2)

4_Capybara-9Photo Credits: Chester Zoo

Capybaras are semi-aquatic mammals and originate from South America. They can grow up to almost 1.5m in length and weigh up to 60kg.

Dr. Nick Davis, Assistant Curator of Mammals at the zoo, said, “Our new arrival is tiny and can barely be seen above the grass when it follows mum on adventures across the paddock. It only weighs a few hundred grams at the moment but, in time, it’ll grow into a really chunky rodent.”

“While the Capybara is not currently classified as an endangered species, it is hunted and poached for its meat and skin, which can be turned into leather. So it’s important that our new arrival helps us raise the profile of this often overlooked species,” Dr. Davis shared.

The sex of the newborn is not currently known by keepers.

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Baby Capybara Munches on Mom's Salad

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The first Capybara in over 10 years has been born at Houston Zoo in Texas! The little male, named Mr. Pibb, was born to mom, Sunkist, and dad, Pop (not pictured). He is a very curious youngster and wasn't at all camera-shy. On December 10, he went outside for the first time with his mom. 

The baby was eating solid foods after only a few days, and even started 'borrowing' his mom's food to eat. He wanted to try everything in his mom's food bowl, and after eating it, he decided to get inside!

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Capy 1Photo credit: Houston Zoo

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Five Baby Capybaras Born at Zoo Berlin

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Zoo Berlin recently welcomed five baby Capybaras to their South American exhibit!  Born just several weeks ago, the five pups, along with mother, Lucia, explored their enclosure for the first time!  Careful to stay close to mother and each other, they enjoyed their time investigating various aspects of their home at the zoo.

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Capybara_Zoo Berlin_4Photo credits: Zoo Berlin

Native to South America, the Capybara is classified as the largest rodent in the world.  They have a distinctly large, blunt head and a pig-like appearance. Capybaras are capable of running as fast as a horse.  However, they enjoy a semi–aquatic lifestyle and prefer habitats in lowlands, close to water.  They can be found in greater numbers on flooded grasslands, where water, dry ground, and pasture are readily available.  Capybaras possess physical traits that aid their love of swimming.  Their ears, eyes and nostrils are positioned high on their heads, enabling those features to remain above water as they swim.  Their bodies contain large amounts of fatty tissue, which provides buoyancy.  Also, they have partially webbed feet.

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Brevard Zoo Welcomes a Litter of Capybaras

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Florida's Brevard Zoo has had a flood of births over the past few months, including a litter of Capybaras!

The zoo's Capybaras are a mixed group, with juveniles from previous births as well as a new litter. The six new pups bring the total number of Capybaras at the zoo up to thirteen. 

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4 capy (brackin)Photo credits: Brevard Zoo / Tom Brackin (3, 4)

Keepers are finding that each pup is developing their own personality. While some like to hang out in a group, there are usually one or two that will venture off on their own. They all enjoy spending time with dad and returning to mom to nurse. They are already eating some solid food, which they began doing at just two days old.

Capybaras are the world's largest rodents. They are highly social and live together in groups in the forests and savannas of South America, typically near water.  They are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a species of Least Concern because of their fairly stable, widespread population. However, some local populations have been drastically reduced or wiped out by hunting for skins. 


Schönbrunn Zoo Welcomes Capybara Pups

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Introduced last April, Capybaras Nancy and Sam hit it off immediately at Schönbrunn Zoo in Austria. After a gestation period of about six months, Nancy gave birth to three healthy pups on November 29!

Capybaras are born well-developed and grow quickly. Pups are able to follow behind their mother almost immediately after they are born. Excellent swimmers, these rodents even have webbing between their toes. The three little ones have already ventured into their pool with mom. 

Capybaras are found throughout South America and eat mainly plants. The world's largest rodents, Capybaras can reach a shoulder height of about 1.6 feet (50 cm), and are most closely related to Guinea Pigs.

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Photo credits: Schönbrunn Zoo / Friedrich Mader (1); Daniel Zupanc (2-8)


Baby Boom at the UK's Paignton Zoo

Baby Capy

Paignton Zoo Environmental Park has welcomed a crop of early summer babies. Among them is this Capybara, who was born on May 15, getting a nuzzle from mom. The Capybara hails from South America and is the largest rodent in the world. To aid them when in water, where they go for tender greens to eat and to beat the heat, they have webbed feet and thick fur -- and their eyes, ears, and nose are positioned high on their head, which they hold above the surface.

Just five days later, on May 20, this Brazilian Tapir was born. The Tapir uses its short, trunk-like nose to sniff its way through the forest, to pull leaves and shoots towards its mouth, and as a snorkel - they love water and are excellent swimmers.

And a Bornean Orangutan baby came into the world on April 11. In the wild, Orangutans are threatened by hunting, the pet trade, and the destruction of their rainforest habitat. Their forest home is rapidly being replaced by palm oil plantations due to a massive demand for this product in many of the foods we eat. You can help by looking at labels and switching to products that don't use palm oil. 

2013 05 PZ young tapir by Ray Wiltshire

2013 05 PZ yawning orang baby by Ray Wiltshire
Photo Credit: Ray Wiltshire


Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Welcomes Capybara Babies

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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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CleMetZoo capybara baby 3
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.

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Trio of Capybara Babies Born at Brevard Zoo

Capy babies

Brevard Zoo's Capybara parents Clancy and Bailey welcomed these three blonde babies on St. Patrick’s Day. They are healthy and nursing well. Capybara are herbivores, meaning they eat the leaves of grasses and other plants. They are fussy though, and are known to only eat certain plants and ignore ones they don't like. Only a week after they are born, baby Capybara can eat grass, although they continue to drink mother's milk. 

Capybaras are the world's largest rodent. They live in groups throughout South America in the thick forest areas that grow along bodies of water. They have webbed feet, dense fur and eyes, ears and a nose located high on their head; All to aid them when they spend time in the water, a place they go to look for tender greens to nibble and keep cool in the heat. They have the ability to stay underwater for several minutes, which greatly aids them when the need arises to hide from predators like jaguars, pumas, ocelots and anacondas. Since they can grow up to 4.5 feet long (1.37 m), 25 inches tall (63.5), and weigh up to 150 pounds (68 kg), they are also hunted by human beings for their meat and hide.

Capy Nurse

Capy mom and baby
Photo Credit: David Saylor

This is the second litter for parents Clancy and Bailey. Clancy, the sire, was born at the Buffalo Zoo in New York in 2011.  Bailey, the dam, was born at the Alameda Park Zoo in New Mexico in 2010. They have been housed at Brevard Zoo for two years. The pups are on exhibit in the La Selva area of the Zoo and guests are already enjoying watching them play. 


One Happy Baby Capy For Belfast Zoo

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Belfast Zoo keepers are hearing the ‘pitter patter’ of tiny webbed feet as parents, Charlie and Lola, have welcomed baby Sheila, the Capybara! Capybaras are found in South America and are, in fact, semi-aquatic, with webbed feet (hence their scientific name is ‘hydrochoerus’ which means ‘water hog’). Capybaras can actually stay underwater for up to five minutes which allows them to hide from predators!

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Photo credit: Belfast Zoo