Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris

IUCN Status: Least concern


An herbivore eating grasses, aquatic vegetation, fruit and tree bark


Only mating in water, a gestation of 130-150 days, 2 – 7 young are born eyes open and ready to move and can graze themselves by 7 days of age.

At The Zoo

We have bred many capybara and had a herd in our marsh enclosure numbering in excess of 14 individuals. They are very efficient reed and grass grazers so we have to restrict their number depending on enclosure size and grazing available


The Latin name gives the habitat away – (water pig) living near waterways which have dense forest nearby throughout South America.

Fun Facts

These animals are farmed for meat and regularly hunted. Interestingly they are worlds largest rodent with adult males reaching 65kgs in weight! They can run as fast as a horse which is just as well as they are the favourite food of jaguar in the Pantanaal of South America!


Adapted for a semiaquatic life style they are gregarious and can be found in herds of from 20 to 200!