Animal Facts

  • Genus:

  • Species:

    Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
  • Conservation

    Least Concern

  • Found In:

    South America
  • Length:

  • Height:

  • Weight:


Meet our intriguing capybara!

Adelaide Zoo is home to the world’s largest rodent, the capybara. Pira, the zoo’s male, was born on 6 October 2012 at Cleveland Metro Parks and sisters Dalia and Sofia were born on 27 August 2012 at San Diego Zoo. The trio arrived at Adelaide Zoo in October 2013. The sisters have given birth to 20 healthy pups since arriving at the zoo! They are great parents and the sisters both look after the young and nurse their own pups as well as the others. Our capybaras can be hand-fed and enjoy a scratch from zoo keepers, not to mention their favourite treats – broccoli and bamboo!

Capybaras are semi-aquatic mammals found throughout South America. They live in densely forested areas near bodies of water.

The capybara is the largest of all the 1,729 species of living rodents. They’re closely related to guinea pigs and have excellent aquatic skills. Their webbed feet, thick fur and high position of the eyes, ears and nose on their head make them great swimmers. They can even hold their breath for up to five minutes underwater to hide from predators like jaguars and pumas!

Capybaras are a highly social species and live in groups of around 10 to 20 individuals. Mothers are known to care for each other’s offspring and pups are known to feed from any mother within the group.

Although the wild capybara population is not considered threatened, in some areas hunting has reduced their numbers.

Love capybaras? There are many ways you can help support these quirky creatures.

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