We have two capybara brothers at the park! They are both big eaters but when they aren’t eating they love to go for a swim or relax & have a good nap!
Capybaras are found in savannas and rainforest, near ponds, rivers, or lakes across Central America & Northern South America.
They are herbivores feeding mainly on grasses, water plants, buds, soft tree bark, reeds & grains.
Capybaras are semi-aquatic, spending a lot of time in the water, in fact they only mate in water. During mating the female has the advantage and mating choice, and if a female does not want to mate with a certain male, she will either submerge in the water (being able to hide under water for up to 5 minutes at a time) or just leave the water all together. They live in small family groups of about 10 – 20 individuals.
Capybaras face several predators like jaguars, anacondas, aimans, pumas, ocelots and harpy eagles so living by a constant source of water is important for them to be able to hide and retreat into murky waters escaping the predators.
Humans also pose a threat with illegal poaching, and they are at risk of habitat loss through deforestation & habitat destruction.
To help the numbers remain stable in the wild capybaras are being farmed for their meat as part of mammal management plan in Venezuela & Colombia.
Capybaras are the largest living rodent! Their head & body length is between 100–130 cm and they can weigh up to 61 kg.