This is the first photo I took of capybaras on my trip to the Brazilian Pantanal last year. You’ll notice that along with the two capys eating water hyacinth there is also a heron a a pair of caiman. This was the dry season when the wildlife is concentrated around the remaining waterholes.
Capybaras can stand and even walk a little on their hind legs. In this shot, Caplin Rous is standing tall so that he can rub his morrillo on a plant. The morrillo is a scent gland on the top of the nose.
Scratching Wesley at the Snake Farm earlier today. Notice his green chin. Capys are not the neatest eaters in the world.
Wesley, one of the capybaras at the Snake Farm in New Braunfels, is making real progress at learning to get on the scale. Unfortunately, I still can’t get an accurate weight like this.
This is the amazing Caplin Rous sleeping after a good graze in the back pasture. Apparently he got his foot through his harness, but it didn’t seem to bother him.
Working with two capybaras at the same time is very difficult. In this photo you see me training Wesley to get up on the scale, which is still a work in progress, while Fiona wears her hoop on her neck. I use endive as their training treat because they absolutely love it and they only get it during training sessions.
I am teaching Fiona, one of the capybaras at the Snake Farm in New Braunfels, TX, to accept me putting a hoop over her head. This is the first step in training her to accept a harness. Having an animal that can be harnessed and walked on a leash is a great aid for a variety of reasons, among which are: moving from one enclosure to another, restraining for veterinary purposes, exercise, emergency evacuations. and recapture after any unexpected extra-enclosure activities.
I guess this male capybara in the Brazilian Pantanal is too big for those caiman to eat, but it makes me nervous.
A female capybara with four infants after emerging from a swim across a pond in the Brazilian Pantanal. The male was with them but not close enough to include in this shot. Typically, both male and female capybaras make excellent parents.