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​Montgomery Zoo Opens New Capybara Exhibit

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

MONTGOMERY ZOO (Montgomery, AL): Meet the newest residents of the Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum, the capybaras. Guests can view the two female and one male capybaras in their exhibit in the South America realm of the Montgomery Zoo. 

Though they may look like hairy pigs or tailless beavers, capybaras are actually rodents most closely related to guinea pigs and Patagonian cavies. The largest living species of rodent, capybaras are native to South America east of the Andes Mountains. They recently gained international exposure during the golf tournament of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Their scientific name hydrochoerus hydrochaeris means “water pig,” and they can be found in swampy, grassy regions bordering rivers, lakes, and streams. Webbed feet make them good swimmers, and they are able to stay submerged in water for up to five minutes.

They are herbivores with a typical diet in the wild that includes aquatic plants, grass, fruit, and tree bark. The average adult can weigh between 77-150 pounds and stand two feet tall at the shoulder. These vocal animals communicate with each other using yelps, barks, huffs, and purrs.

The three capybaras will be housed in a recently renovated exhibit that includes a new wading pond. View them on display daily at the Montgomery Zoo from 9am-4:30pm, pending weather and animal husbandry needs.

The Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum is open daily from 9am-5:30pm with the last ticket being sold at 4pm. Animal exhibits begin closing at 4:30pm. Regular admission to the Zoo only is Adults $15, Children (3-12 years) $11, and Toddlers (2 years and under) Free. Zoo plus Museum Combo, Military, and Senior Citizen discounts are available.

The Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum is a 42-acre zoological facility located minutes from the heart of historic, downtown Montgomery.  The Montgomery Zoo features five continental realms housing over 500 species of animals from Africa, Asia, Australia, North America and South America.  Adjacent to the Zoo is the Mann Wildlife Learning Museum, housing the one of the Southeast’s largest collections of preserved North American wildlife and artifacts.

The Montgomery Zoo is a Department of the City of Montgomery, Alabama