Common name: Capybara
Scientific name: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
At the zoo: Snickers (male, 5y) and his son Nibs (male, 2y)
Capybaras are native to South America. They live in forests, savannah, and wetlands.
In the wild, they will eat grass, aquatic plants, fruit and tree bark.
Median Life Expectancy:
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world with the guinea pig being its closest relative. They can live in groups of up to 100, but are typically found in groups of 10-20. They are semi-aquatic, making them excellent swimmers. They can even be found sleeping in the water, keeping just their noses above the surface. They have webbed feet, can hold their breath to dive, and have flaps on their ears to keep water out. They must remain close to water for food, temperature regulation and protection. Conservation action in the future must focus on protecting suitable habitat that is close to a water source.
Did you know that Capybaras bark like dogs? Males do this to assert their dominance!