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Capybaras

Two newborn capybaras at Eskisehir Zoo in Turkey

Around the world, people keep many different kinds of animals as pets. Capybaras may not be the most popular, but they are definitely very interesting creatures. They are the world’s largest rodents. And in many ways, are just like guinea pigs.

Capybaras are semi-aquatic animals that love to swim. In fact, they will do just about anything they can in water, from eating to sleeping.  They have duck-like webbed feet that allow them to easily move around. So, if you decide to adopt a capybara, you’ll need to provide them with a daily water source where they can swim and play. Besides that, your capybara will also need an enclosure that will provide them with enough room to run around and exercise. Like guinea pigs, the capybaras’ teeth never stop growing, which creates the need for them to chew. To help protect them, you’ll need to keep yours out of reach of wires, furniture, or other small appliances that can harm them. In the alternative, it’s important to give them something safe for them to chew that will help file down their constantly growing teeth. Capybaras are herbivorous animals that only eat plant matter in order to acquire all the nutrients they need. The diet of the Capybara is mainly made up of grasses and aquatic plants, along with fruits and berries. Capybaras are herd animals, so getting more than one is a good idea. Doing so will keep them from getting lonely and will help them live happier lives.

Before getting a capybara, make sure that there is an exotic vet in your area where you can take them for their checkups and emergency care if needed. You’ll also want to check to see if they are legal to own in your town. Some places may prohibit it or require a special permit. Before getting a capybara, please be sure to consider the special care commitment they will need. They have razor sharp teeth and can be territorial. They are not the best pet for everyone, so think twice and take into consideration all their needs before deciding.

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Victoria’s Fun Facts and Tips:

• Capybaras can live approximately 8-10 years.

• They have four toes in the front and three toes in the back, just like a guinea pig.

• Adult capybaras grow to 3.48 to 4.40 ft in length, stand 20 to 24 in tall at the withers, and typically weigh 77 to 146 pounds,

• The capybaras’ scientific name is Hydrochoerus hydohaeris, which come from the Greek word that means “water hog” or “water pig”.  

• Capybaras are native to South America.

• When Catholics were prohibited from eating meat on Friday, they made the exception that they could eat the capybara, because they were considered an aquatic mammal.

Written by Victoria Bonavita

For more information on me, please visit www.VictoriasAmazingWorld.com.

And if you’d like me to visit your school or library for one of my animal education programs, please contact me at victoriasamazingworld@yahoo.com

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