They may be rodents, but capybaras are anything but mousy! Native to South America, capybaras can weigh more than 170 pounds and measure close to 2 feet at the shoulder. Capybaras are good swimmers, and even have webbed feet to help them move in the water.
A group effort
Capybaras live in small groups of about 10 members, and everyone helps take care of the babies. The average litter size is 5, but up to 8 is possible. It's a good idea to have that many eyes watching the babies because animals like jaguars, ocelots, harpy eagles, and anacondas may seek them out as prey.
Our resident rodents
The group of capybaras at the Zoo's Elephant Odyssey habitat help with their own care. They have learned to climb on a scale for their monthly weight checks, to come into their indoor area when called, to go into crates, and to sit still for a quick exam. Their reward? A favorite food treat!