A new experience offered at the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society allows guests to safely meet and feed the world’s largest rodents. The "Capybara Experience" brings guests behind-the-scenes at the Zoo’s cenote in the Harriet W. & George D. Cornell Tropics of the Americas section to meet Doris, Calypso and Siren, the Zoo’s one-year-old female capybaras. The new experience will be offered to pre-registered guests beginning on Friday, April 11, 2014.
“We are proud to offer this unique experience for animal-lovers who want to come even closer to wildlife,” explained Nancy Nill, Associate Curator for the Zoo. “Many of our guests may not realize exactly what is a capybara, but they are interesting mammals that play an important role in the ecosystem.”
“Someone may have a misconception that because capybaras are rodents, they are therefore not worthwhile,” Nill continued. “When you come close and see them in person, you realize they are intelligent, social animals that are curious and very cute!”
The minimum age for participation is eight years old, and for each child under age 12, at least one adult must be present. From April 11 through May 23, all guests may purchase a Capybara Experience for the limited-time price of $15 per person. After May 23, the cost remains $15 for Zoo members, but rises to $20 per person for non-Zoo members.
Capybaras weigh 140 pounds on average, and the species received the nickname “water hogs” although they are more closely related to guinea pigs rather than actual pigs. The semi-aquatic animals have partially webbed feet, and are excellent swimmers. Capybaras can live up to ten years in the wild.
The Zoo’s three capybaras came from the Little Rock Zoo in 2013, and will all turn two years old in September 2014.
The Capybara Experience joins three other animal experiences, the Black Bear Experience, the Sloth Experience and the Aldabra Tortoise Experience. Each animal experience lasts approximately 25-30 minutes. More information, and registration forms, can be found at www.palmbeachzoo.org/animal-