NewsLocal News


Two Capybara pups join the Santa Barbara Zoo

capybara 1.jpg
Posted at 12:54 PM, Feb 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-14 15:54:48-05

There are two new additions at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Capybara pups, Antonio and Mirabel, are making their debut to visitors at the zoo.

The brother and sister were born on July 26, 2022, and came to the zoo from the Montgomery Zoo in Alabama.

The pups are now getting acquainted with the zoo's current 4-year-old Capybara named Poppy and acclimating to their new habitat.

Antonio and Mirabel are part of a Species Survival Plan (population management and conservation program for selected species of wildlife), so the Zoo is hoping that the three will form a nice new herd.

"Antonio and Mirabel both have big personalities and even bigger appetites!" shared Zoo Manager Kristen Wieners. "They are very curious about staff and exploring new things, and we are really enjoying getting to know them!"

capybara 2.jpg

Zoo officials say Capybaras need careful introductions to new herd mates, as they can be protective of their homes. Until the group is comfortable together, Poppy will take turns in the habitat with Antonio and Mirabel.

Capybaras are the largest rodent in the world and are native to Central and South America. They are semi-aquatic mammals with partially webbed feet. They are capable of staying underwater for up to five minutes. Like other rodents, capybaras' front teeth continuously grow to compensate for being worn down from their diet of grasses and water plants.