Capybara Babies – New Recruits To The Zoo
Our resident capybara population has just seen an increase!
The capybaras are one of Flamingo Land’s most interesting residents. They are the world’s largest rodents and can easily be mistaken for giant guinea pigs! They can reach up to 1.3 metres in length and up to half a metre tall. In the wild they are found in South America. Here in the zoo they can be found in our free-ranging South America section together with alpaca, tapirs and maras.
In the wild the capybaras can be found in thick vegetation close to water. They are excellent swimmers and spend a lot of their time in the water, when they are not grazing on the land. This is why our Mum decided to have her litter right next to our big lake. The first European explorers to see capybaras originally named them water pigs!
Hiding under water is a great way to avoid predators and the capybara can hold their breath for up to 5 minutes! They can even sleep underwater, leaving just their nostrils out so they can breathe. Their main predators are pumas, jaguars, ocelots, eagles, anacondas and humans, who use them for meat and for their skins.
Capybaras communicate with each other using a variety of sounds including clicking and barking. Young capybara will purr constantly to keep in contact with their mother and the rest of the group. Like Flamingo Land’s meerkats and ring tailed lemurs, capybara females share responsibilities for caring for young, creating a strong bond within the group.
Here at Flamingo Land we are lucky enough to have four baby capybaras born just a few weeks ago. They can be found grazing with the alpacas in the mornings and at the side of the lake, next to the walkway, in the afternoons. Mum, Dad and babies are all doing well and they are getting bigger by the day. Come along to see them and our other baby animals at Flamingo Land.