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The name Capybara comes from the Guarani Indians of South American interior and means ‘master of the grasses’. The world’s largest rodent, Capybara  live in groups of up to about 20 and prefer to stay close to water. They are superb swimmers. Bert the Capybara pictured below is one of our oldest residents.


When they detect danger, Capybara will dive into the water and hide, staying underwater for up to five minutes. They can also sleep underwater with only their nostrils breaking the surface.

Capybara facts

  • Conservation Status:
    Least Concern
  • Habitat: swamps, marshes, rivers
  • Range: South America
  • No of species: 1
  • Lifespan: up to 12 years
  • Weight: 35-75kg
Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Rodentia
  • Family: Caviidae
  • Genus: Hydrochoerus
  • Species: H. hydrochaeris


Meet Bert (Mark IV) the Capybara.

 The original Bert escaped from Porfell in the mid-nineties but returned to his friends 18 months later.

In recognition of the original Bert’s popularity, all our male Capybara are now called Bert

Meet Bert.

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