11 02/11/2012

Trio of big baby rodents have their first ever health check-ups

Three baby capybaras, the world’s largest rodents, have had their first ever health check-ups.

The trio – named Sakai, Byron and Kosh - were born on Oct 5 to mum Lily and dad Mordon.

Keepers and vets gave them a physical examination, inserted microchips, took their weights and determined their genders during the routine checks.

Capybara - Chester Zoo


Keeper Helen Massey said:

“All three of our new arrivals, two boys and one girl, are in great shape.

“It has been a number of years since we last had capybara babies and so we’re really, really pleased with them.

“They’re only weighing in at around 2.6kgs now but they’ll soon grow into chunky rodents like their mum and dad.”

Keeper Helen Massey with Capybara


Capybaras can grow up to almost 1.5m in length and weigh up 60 kilograms. They are native to South America and can be found living in small herds in wetlands across most of the continent.

Their scientific name means ‘water pig’, and their bodies have been specially adapted for swimming - with webbed feet and their eyes, ears and nostrils located on top of their heads.

They are able to stay submerged in water for around five minutes. In the wild they are preyed upon by jaguars, anacondas and caiman and humans also hunt them for their meat and skin, which can be turned into leather.

The capybaras are three of a number of new arrivals at the zoo, which has had something of a baby boom in October. A black rhino, a Rothschild giraffe, a Sumatran orangutan, an okapi and two Giant Otter pups have all been born in the month.


Capybara Health Check


Baby capybara - Chester Zoo