Tiny Cavies Come Out to Play at NaturZoo Rheine

4 mara

In mid-June, NaturZoo Rheine in Germany welcomed a litter of two Patagonian Cavies, also called Mara. Baby Cavies can walk almost immediately after birth, and from their very first days, the pair started exploring outside of the burrow to play, cuddle and groom. 

3 mara

6 mara

1 mara

2 mara

5 mara

7 maraPhoto credits: Eva Bruns / NaturZoo Rheine

These rodents, a Near Threatened species related to Guinea-pigs and Chinchillas, come from Patagonia. At the zoo, the Cavies live in a larger group together with Llamas in a walk-through exhibit. Because Cavies are active during the day, visitors have a unique chance to follow the development of the litter from close-up. 

Cavies mate for life, only finding a new mate if a partner dies, and breed in the company of other pairs in shared burrows or warrens. Having many pairs of eyes around the den helps to protect offspring from predators.

The young can walk almost immediately after birth, but stay close to the den for their first three weeks as they explore. They will begin grazing on plants with their parents and are weaned at about 13 weeks old. 

Three Patagonian Cavy Pups

Three Patgonian Cavy (also known as Mara) pups have been born under the watchful eye of keepers at Shepreth Wildlife Park this month. The triplets have caused quite a stir at the Cambridgeshire wildlife collection, which has never had triplets born in this species before. Normally this species will give birth to singles or twins. The healthy trio can be seen alongside fellow oversized rodents - two resident Capybara brothers.

Patagonian cavies shepreth wildlife park 3

Patagonian cavies shepreth wildlife park 3

Patagonian cavies shepreth wildlife park 3