Capybara bay stays close to its mother's forelegs

Happy capybaras!

A capybara swims easily in water

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 of two adult capybaras and two babies stand at a riverbank

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.

A capybara mom nuzzles its small baby

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, and to sit still for a quick exam. Their reward? A favorite food treat!