Capybaras Arrive at the Abilene Zoo

Posted: April 28, 2021 | 3:18 pm

Abilene, Tx – Meet the newest residents of the Abilene Zoo, the capybaras. Guests can view the one male and three female capybaras in their exhibit in the South America area of the Abilene Zoo. 

The recently renovated exhibit includes room to roam and a pool, which they make good use of, as they are fond of water. The capybara herd shares an exhibit with two Southern Screamer birds.  

“We are thrilled to welcome the world’s largest rodents to the Abilene Zoo,” stated Zoo Curator Denise Ibarra, “The pups are around 6 months old and are transitioning well to the new exhibit.”

The capybara will be on display daily at the Abilene Zoo from 9 am-5:00 pm, pending weather and animal husbandry needs. 

Full-grown capybaras weigh between 70-150 pounds and can stand two feet tall at the shoulder. These vocal animals communicate with each other using yelps, barks, huffs, and purrs. In the wild, they eat aquatic plants, fruits, and tree bark, which makes them herbivores. 

Though they may look like tailless beavers, capybaras are rodents most closely related to guinea pigs and Patagonian cavies. The capybaras are native to South America. Their scientific name Hydrochoerus Hydrochaeris means “water pig,” and they can be found in swampy, grassy regions bordering rivers, lakes, and streams. Webbed and duck-like feet make them excellent swimmers, and they can stay submerged in water for up to five minutes.

About Abilene Zoo 

Abilene Zoo was founded in 1966 as a collaborative partnership between the City of Abilene and the Abilene Zoological Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving wildlife and protecting wild places. Through its passion and expertise in animal care, conservation, and education, the zoo’s mission is a place of learning and adventure where people make memories, share in the joy of discovery, and become inspired to save wildlife. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums since 1985, this West Texas zoo sees 129 school districts from over 51 Texas counties in addition to a quarter of a million guests each year. To learn more, visit


Please contact the Abilene Zoo at 325-676-6085  for additional information about the facility, including special events and activities for visitors and its ongoing commitment to wildlife conservation and science education.

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