Capybara

Super-sized Litter of Capybara Pups Born at Wellington Zoo

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The Wellington Zoo welcomed an extra large litter of  Capybara pups on October 25. First-time mother Iapa delivered seven pups - the normal litter size is three to four pups, but the litter size can range from one to eight.  

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The care team is keeping a watchful eye on mom and pups to ensure that each is nursing and developing properly.  Keepers noted that Iapa is a bit exhausted but she’s doing well. For now, the new family is living in a private den where Iapa can bond with her babies. 

Capybaras are the world’s largest Rodent species and are native to South America. They inhabit a variety of habitats including forests and grasslands and usually live near water. 

Though not listed as being under threat, Capybaras are hunted extensively for their meat.  They live groups of 10-20 individuals.  

See more photos of the babies below.

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Tiny Giants Born at Cotswold Wildlife Park

1_Capybara babies with Belle (2)

Cotswold Wildlife Park is home to a diverse collection of over 1,500 animals from 250 different species. This includes the Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), a giant rodent species from South America that is probably best described by zoologist, Desmond Morris, as “a cross between a Guinea-pig and a Hippopotamus”. It is the largest living rodent in the world and the last remnant of a long line of gigantic grass-eating rodents that evolved in South America over millions of years.

The Park’s new breeding pair were introduced last year and bonded straight away. Due to their large barrel-like build, mammal keepers were unaware their female, Belle, was pregnant until they discovered the newborn twins by her side during their recent morning checks.

2_Capybaba twins all fluffed up post-swim

3_Capybara babies first time in the water

4_Capybara babies first dipPhoto & Video Credits: Cotswold Wildlife Park 

Belle and Ollie are proving to be attentive first-time parents, but the arrival of their first pups has not curbed Ollie’s amorous interest in his new partner. Keepers are hopeful the new family group will grow in numbers and the Park’s successful Capybara breeding record will continue.

Curator of Cotswold Wildlife Park, Jamie Craig, commented, “Capybara babies are always extremely popular with the keepers and our visitors. They are born looking like a miniature version of their parents and are soon exploring the enclosure and swimming in their pool. We have had great success with this species over the years and it is reassuring to know that this new pair will continue that tradition”.

After a gestation period of 150 days, females give birth to highly precocial young (just as well considering the vulnerable pups are a food source for many large predators in their native homeland). Anacondas, Caimans, Jaguars and humans hunt this species for their meat. Newborns weigh approximately 1.5kg and are able to graze within hours of birth. (A full-grown Capybara can weigh up to 65kg.) The young will continue to suckle until they are approximately four months old and will stay with their parents for roughly one year.

At just two days old, visitors and keepers witnessed the newborns tentatively taking their first steps into the water.

Water is a vital resource for this semi-aquatic species; it is used not only for drinking, but also to control their body temperature and as an escape from predators. Capybaras usually mate in the water. They can even sleep underwater by leaving their noses exposed to the air. Their water-resistant fur, partially webbed feet and position of their eyes and nostrils on the top of their heads enables them to remain almost completely submerged but still able to hear, see and smell what is happening on dry land nearby.

Unusually for a rodent, even the male’s scent gland, which most other rodents carry on their cheeks, is on the top of his nose. Their scientific name (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) means ‘water horse’.

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Belfast Zoo Says 'Hola' to Their New Babies

1_(9)  Call by the zoo this weekend and spot Belfast Zoo's latest arrivals.

Belfast Zoo keepers are saying ‘hola’ to two Capybara babies! The twins were born to mother, Lola, and father, Chester, on April 2.

The Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) is a South American mammal that resembles a giant Guinea Pig. They are the largest rodents in the world and measure up to 130 centimeters in length (4.2 feet).

The scientific name for this species “hydrochaeris” is Greek for ‘water hog’. This refers to the fact that the Capybara is a semi-aquatic mammal.

The species is native to Central and South American riverbanks, ponds, and marshes. When the Capybara swims, its eyes, ears and nostrils are positioned above the water to help with vision and breathing. This unusual animal has webbed feet and can even hold its breath for up to five minutes underwater!

2_(1)  Belfast Zoo keepers are saying ‘hola’ to more new arrivals as two capybara have been born!

3_(2)  The capybara babies were born on 2 April 2018 and are beginning to explore their home with their family.

4_(3)  Capybara are the largest rodents in the world and closely resemble giant guinea pigs.Photo Credits: Belfast Zoo

The arrival of the two latest Capybara babies means that Belfast Zoo is now home to a total of thirteen. In the wild, these rodents live in large family groups of ten to 40 individuals. They are incredibly vocal and communicate through barks, whistles, huffs and purrs.

Zoo Curator, Raymond Robinson, said, "Our Capybaras share their home with some other South American 'amigos', including Giant Anteaters and Darwin's Rhea. 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 Capybara face in their natural habitat. We have no doubt that our South American babies will soon be a firm favourite with visitors!"

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Banner Day for Capybara Pups at Chester Zoo

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Chester Zoo is home to a grand total of eight new Capybara pups! Zookeepers spotted Capybara mum, Lochley, giving birth to her first two youngsters at around 7:30am on May 17. The third and fourth members of her new quartet arrived just before 11am, in front of amazed visitors. Later that same day, mum, Lilly, gave birth to four more pups!

2_Visitors to Chester Zoo were treated to the sight of four baby capybaras being born to mum Lochley. The capybara is the world’s largest rodent species.  (3)

3_Visitors to Chester Zoo were treated to the sight of four baby capybaras being born to mum Lochley. The capybara is the world’s largest rodent species.  (29)

4_Visitors to Chester Zoo were treated to the sight of four baby capybaras being born to mum Lochley. The capybara is the world’s largest rodent species.  (41)Photo Credits: Chester Zoo

Sometimes referred to as the ‘giant guinea pig’, the Capybara comes from South America and can grow up to 1.5m (4.9ft.) in length.

After the birth of the first four pups, James Andrewes, Assistant Team Manager at the Zoo, remarked, “Lochley gave birth out in the sunshine – her first two pups arriving before the zoo had opened with her second two born a little later, in front of a handful of rather astonished visitors. Within no time, all of the babies were up on their feet, running around, sniffing buttercups and clambering over mum.”

Andrewes continued, “We can already see that they’re going to be a bit of a handful for Lochley, but she’s looking fairly unfazed and I can see her keeping them in line without too much trouble. They’ll nurse around seven times a day and it’s at feeding time that they tend to settle down... for a short while at least!”

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.

While the Capybara is not currently classified as an endangered species, it is threatened by habitat degradation and illegal poaching for its meat and skin, which can be turned into leather. The zoo hopes their new arrivals will help to raise the profile of the often-overlooked species.

5_Visitors to Chester Zoo were treated to the sight of four baby capybaras being born to mum Lochley. The capybara is the world’s largest rodent species.  (37)


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

See more after the fold!

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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)