GLOBAL DISRIBUTION/RANGE: 
South America

DIET: 
The capybara is a grazing herbivore, eating mainly grasses and aquatic plants.

HABITAT: 
Banks of rivers and lakes

DESCRIPTION: 
The capybara has a heavy, barrel-shaped body and short head, with reddish-brown fur on the upper part of its body that turns yellowish-brown underneath. Its sweat glands can be found in its haired skin surface, an unusual trait among rodents.

DID YOU KNOW? 
The capybara is the largest rodent in the world. They prefer to mate in the water. Their gestation period is four months. Usually four or five babies are born per litter, each weighing three or four pounds. They are born on land. They will join the group as soon as they can walk to follow their mother, about three or four days after birth. The babies can see soon after birth and can eat grass after only one week. They nurse for about 16 weeks and stay with the mother about a year. The young in a group stay together and the females will nurse infants other than their own.

MORE ABOUT OUR ANIMALS: 
The El Paso Zoo has one capybara named Sandy. Over the years she has given birth to a number of babies that have since moved to other zoos.

HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED IN CONSERVATION EFFORTS: 
Read about capybaras online and check out books from your local library. Become a member of the El Paso Zoological Society. Funds raised by the Society are used to support conservation efforts at the Zoo and in the wild.  

JUST FOR KIDS: 
Our capybara lives in a mixed exhibit along with guanacos, Crested Screamers, Patagonian hares and during the warmer months a yellow-footed tortoise. For a fun experience see how many of the other species listed above you can find in the exhibit during your visit.