Attack of the capybaras! - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Attack of the capybaras!


The Caldwell Zoo has some new residents. It seems like it happens more often in the spring.  What's up with that?

We may never know.

The capybara family living happily at the zoo now has five new members; yes, five.

They may not look like it right now, but the capybaras (not to be confused with chupacabras) are the largest rodents in the world. One look at mom and it's easy to believe.

"The mamma weighs 140 pounds, but don't tell her that," I suggested to some zoo visitors.

There are now seven siblings in the family. One of the quintuplets had a problem at first. It was walking on its wrists because of cramped pre-birth living quarters, but a couple splints for a few days solved that.

"They recognize weaknesses and a lot of times they'll ignore them or push them out of the group. With this baby, we were very fortunate that mom didn't do that," said Scotty Stainback, Caldwell Zoo's Curator of Mammals.

Why so many siblings? Well, when these guys get old enough they'll be "employed" by other zoos.

"Once we get them out to other zoos, then if we get recommendations to continue breeding them, then we will," Scotty said.

Right now there will be no more brothers and sisters, but there are enough to keep each other warm in colder weather.

"The real weird thing is they are all connected together," I said to another zoo visitor.

"Are you serious?" He asked.

"They are, huh, Scotty?" I asked.

"Uh, sure," Scotty kidded.

He didn't really believe it.

The little guys really attract a crowd because…

"They're one big ‘cappy' family," Scotty observed.

That was going to be my line, but Scotty does work with them, so he would know better than me.

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