Animal Facts

  • Genus:

    Hydrochoerus
  • Species:

    Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
  • Conservation
    Status:

    Least Concern

  • Found In:

    South America
  • Length:

    107-134cm
  • Height:

    50-64
  • Weight:

    35-66kg

Meet our intriguing capybara!

Adelaide Zoo is home to the world’s largest rodent, the capybara.

Sofia was born on 27 August 2012 at San Diego Zoo. She arrived at Adelaide Zoo in October 2013 and has given birth to many adorable pups since then.

This gorgeous girl can be hand-fed and enjoys a good scratch from zoo keepers, especially when she’s treated with her favourites – broccoli and bamboo! Capybaras are excellent swimmers, and Sofia loves to wallow in a mud puddle before jumping in to her nice clean pond.

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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About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

Zoos SA acknowledges the Country on which we stand always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land and we pay our deepest respect and gratitude to Kaurna (Adelaide Zoo) and Ngarrindjeri (Monarto Safari Park) Elders, past, present and emerging.

We undertake critical conservation work throughout Australia and acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands.

 

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