Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

About the Capybara

js1-capybara-ksp-summer-sept15-0052The capybara is the largest rodent in the world and is found in South American flooded grasslands. They are specially adapted for life around water, with partially webbed feet and nose, ears and nostrils positioned at the top of the head. They are fantastic swimmers and can remain submerged for up to 5 minutes.





Fact Finder

Capybara are the worlds largest rodent.

They are fantastic swimmers and can be submerged for up to 5 minutes before resurfacing for air.

Closely related to the guinea pig

Water is vital to them. Their diet is plants and grasses on flooded wetlands. When predators threaten from land, capybara take to the water for safety.

They are social animals and live in family groups.

Capybara are never far from water. They are adapted to wetlands and their diet includes water plants and grasses.


They are from South America (Columbia, Venezuela into Northern Argentina).

Although many populations live within protected areas, the capybaras’ biggest threat is from hunting. Capybara leather is valued in South America.

You can explore the equatorial trail either from a raised viewing platform, the miniature train ‘equatorial express’ or by boat during the spring and summer seasons. The equatorial express train will take you through the equatorial trail giving great views of the capybara, tapir and sitatunga antelope. Tickets for the express train can be bought from the information centre. The boating lake takes you alongside the equatorial trail so you can have the opportunity of seeing the animals either on land or in the water.


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