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The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

Capybaras- The World’s Largest Rodent, Cute or Scary?

Capybaras- Although they are the world’s largest rodent, they have become immensely popular over the years. Why? Because people have grown to love these animals. So this creates a question: does the majority of people think of them as cute or scary?

Capybaras enjoy soaking in water and sometimes use it as a way to get away from predators.

What they look like-

Capybaras are very large animals. They can weigh more than 100 pounds and they are about four feet long and two feet tall. They have brown fur which is rough and feels like a broom. Capybara’s fur has three different layers. The first layer is coarse and this texture protects them. The second layer is a bit softer and has long hairs that are called “awn hairs”. The bottom layer is the softest layer out of them all and is called the down hairs. They have webbed feet for when they swim and move in water. Capybaras usually live up to 10 years.

Where They Live-

The capybara- the largest rodent in the world. They can weigh up to 100 pounds! (Rutpratheep Nilpechr)

Capybaras are native to South America. They can be seen in places like Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Paraguay, Brazil, Peru, Northeast Argentina, and Uruguay. They are in swampy and grassy areas that have ponds, lakes, or rivers.

Their diet-
During the morning, capybaras eat their food and then relax for the rest of the day. They are herbivores so they eat a lot of vegetables and plants, like their rodent relatives- guinea pigs. Capybaras eat a lot of grass. Adults eat an amount of between 6-8 pounds of grass each day! They also consume squash, melons, grains, and water plants.

Their water life-
Capybaras are “semi-aquatic” creatures. Meaning that they like to relax in wet areas like ponds, rivers, and lakes, but also rest in grassy areas. They also use the water as a place to hide and escape from predators. Capybaras can be underwater for five minutes at the most. Capybaras also go in water as a way to cool off.

Capybara Social Life-
They enjoy soaking in warm water with other capybaras and are pretty social creatures. Capybaras like to spend time with their kind and other animals, they often groom each other and lay beside one another. According to AZPetVet, “they’re not aggressive towards humans or other animals, and they’re even known to be friendly with other animals, like dogs and cats.”

Capybaras are very social and enjoy being with one another in big groups.

Owning Them as Pets-
In some states, like Washington, Arizona, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Florida, and North Carolina, it is legal to own a capybara. But, even in those places, capybaras aren’t for everyone. Capybaras need a big area because of their size. Since they are very social animals, they need others to bond with. “They are social animals who must live with other capybaras for their physical and psychological health.” (WedMD) And they are still considered wild animals. As well as this, capybaras are exotic pets so they would need special care.

If it was legal to own a capybara in California, Yahaira Perez, a freshman at SRA, states, “I would want one because they’re super cute and they are really good pets.”

Capybaras have become very popular lately. There are lots of capybara videos online and there even is a capybara cafe in Tokyo, called Capyneko Cafe. Where people go to hang out with capybaras and eat food and feed them.

To know more about the Capybara Cafe, go to this link- HOME (English) – cafe capybara (capybara cafe) in TOKYO

Mia Paisley, an eighth-grade student at SRA shares what she thinks about the capybara cafe. She responded saying, “Yes, I would want to go to a capybara cafe. I feel like it would be a fun and unique experience. I’ve never seen a capybara in person before so meeting a new and unique animal would be nice. They seem very friendly in videos so yes I want to go to the Capybara Cafe.”

I feel like it would be a fun and unique experience. I’ve never seen a capybara in person before so meeting a new and unique animal would be nice.

— Mia Paisley

So back to the first question, “Do people think of them as cute or scary?”

After being asked the question, a few students from SRA shared their beliefs.
Annabelle Schoch, a senior, replied, “Yes they are cute. They look like beavers and their faces are so cute.”

Yes they are cute. They look like beavers and their faces are so cute.

— Annabelle Schoch

Yahaira Perez, a freshman, responded by saying, “I think capybaras are cute because of their resemblance to a guinea pig.”

Overall, capybaras are such unique animals and after asking a few people what they think, it seems that people are adoring these wonderful creatures which have become popular.

For more information:
Is It Legal To Own a Capybara
Capybaras: Friendly Giants of the Rodent Community – AZPetVet.
Capybara: Are They Good Pets? Laws, Problems, and More
Are Capybaras Soft to the Touch? – PawsGeek
Are capybaras rodents? And 5 other capybara facts | Stories | WWF.
Capybara | Rainforest Alliance.
Capybara | Roswell, NM.

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About the Contributor
Ellie  Cobb
Ellie Cobb, Staff Writer
Ellie Cobb; a very caring, smart, and creative individual. She has been attending Santa Rosa Academy for eight years and is a Freshman this year. She puts creativity into every aspect of her life, whether it be crocheting, baking, or writing a story. In the future, she wants to go to college and possibly become a marine biologist. While working hard at school and still finding time to give her cats attention, she has maintained excellent grades. Ellie would love to make an impact as an encouraging person and a great example to those around her.
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