Belfast Zoo is celebrating the arrival of two of the world’s largest rodents, in the form of twin capybara babies. Parents Charlie and Lola arrived in Belfast in 2009 and welcomed Gus and Jacques on 3 April 2012.
Capybaras originate from South America. The scientific name for capybara (Hydrochoerus) means ‘water hog’ and although they are technically from the rodent family, this name relates to the fact that capybaras are semi-aquatic animals and love the water. In fact, capybaras have webbed feet and can stay underwater for up to five minutes at a time, to hide from predators.
Zoo Manager, Mark Challis, said, “Our capybaras live in a mixed South American exhibit in the zoo. Already, in 2012, we have welcomed Kara and Pancho, the giant anteaters, to this enclosure and now we are celebrating the arrival of capybara twins! It’s definitely an exciting time and I am sure that zoo visitors will enjoy visiting our new arrivals, Gus and Jacques.”
You can support the care of Belfast Zoo’s capybaras, by taking part in the animal adoption scheme. For more information visit www.belfastzoo.co.uk/adoption or email firstname.lastname@example.org.