• IUCN Status
    Least Concern
  • Population
    approaching 500,000
  • Diet
    Herbivore - aquatic plants, grasses and bark
  • Group
  • Size
    1 - 1.5 m
  • Continent
    South America
  • Lifespan
    4 Years in the Wild and 8 - 10 Years in Captivity
  • Weight
    30 - 75kg
  • Habitat
    semi-aquatic, swamp/wetlands
  • Scientific Name
    Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

Meet the Capybara


The Capybara is a large, semi-aquatic rodent that is found inhabiting the water-logged regions of Central and South America. 

Closely related to other South American rodents such as Chinchillas and Guinea Pigs, the Capybara is the largest rodent in the world weighing up to 75kg and measuring nearly 1.4 meters long.

Despite their enormous size though, Capybaras are animals that have adapted well to life in the water and have a number of distinctive characteristics that aid their amphibious lifestyle.  

These large rodents are also called water hogs.




the world's largest rodents

Did you know?

A herbivorous animal that  feeds primarily on plants of the  family Poaceae, read on for more interesting facts about these animals

Do capybara like water?up arrow

Yes!  They are very capable swimmers and have webbed feet to help them swim fast in order to escape from predators.  They can hold their breath under water for up to 5 minutes & they have even been known to sleep in water.

What kind of teeth do capybara have?down arrow

Capybaras are rodents which means they have long ever-growing pairs of incisors at the front of their jaw.  The word ‘rodent’ is from the latin word meaning ‘to gnaw’ which they have to constantly do in order to keep the incisors from overgrowing.

What do capybaras eat?down arrow

Mostly vegetation, specifically grass & water plants.  They also eat their own poo which contains beneficial bacteria that help break down the fibre in their diet.

How big is a capybara?down arrow

Capybaras are the largest rodent on the planet and can weigh up to 75kg which is almost as big as a human.  Females are usually bigger than males.

Are capybaras sociable?down arrow

These gentle mammals from South America are incredibly sociable and some share habitats with many other creatures.  Some of their smaller neighbours such as birds & some monkeys will often sit on their barrel-like backs for a rest!

Adopt a Capybara

Support our wildlife park and help prevent extinction by adopting an animal

  • bronze medal

    Bronze Adoption


    Incudes a pack of goodies plus a day pass to the wildlife park

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  • silver medal

    Silver Adoption


    Includes a pack of goodies plus an annual pass to the wildlife park

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  • gold medal

    Gold Adoption


    Includes a pack of goodies plus a Capybara animal experience included!

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