7 Sep 2017

The playful youngster, who has not yet been sexed, arrived to parents Lily and Jeff on 7 Nov. 

Capybaras are the world’s largest species of rodent and are sometimes labelled giant guinea pigs. They are found in South America where they live in small herds, spending much of their time in water.

Currently not listed as an endangered species, the capybara is threatened by habitat degradation and illegal poaching for its meat and skin. Keepers hope Lily’s newest arrival will help to highlight a species which is often overlooked.

Capybara facts

  • The capybara is the largest of the world’s rodent species
  • Their eyes and nostrils are on the tops of their heads so they can stay submerged with very little of their body showing – helping them to avoid detection by predators such as jaguars, anacondas and caiman
  • Like rabbits, they eat their own dung to extract maximum nutrition from their food
  • The scientific name for the capybara means ‘water hog’