Pet capybaras?! - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Pet capybaras?!

Hi everyone! Normally I'm over on the rat boards, but today I just came across this site about a Texas woman's pet capybara, and I couldn't believe it!

http://gianthamster.com/about/

I was wondering if anyone knows about how they are as pets? Is it legal to have capybaras as pets in the whole US? (Or in certain states only?) What is a typical diet, shelter, etc. that people use for them? Also, how do you find a vet that is qualified to treat them?!!

I absolutely love capybaras and I would definitely consider getting one sometime if I knew I could do so legally, as well as financially!


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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 12:05 PM
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Actually, I did meet this woman and her capybara at a PetSmart in Austin, Tx. It was about a month ago and she was feeding him blueberries as they walked up to the store.

It's a busy shopping center and it probably took her a good 30 mins just to get up to the storefront since so many people were stopping to ask questions. She hands outs business cards with it's info and was a pleasure to speak with.

As for the Capybara, not very snuggly.. it's hair is very stiff. That's about all I know. Should I see her again I'll be sure to ask her some questions for ya!


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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 01:08 PM
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I don't know much about them actually...which is sad,since I did a project on them when I was in school...I forgot pretty much everything I learned.

I personally do not see them as a pet,but I am hearing more often now in other forums and such of people having them as pets.I do believe you would need a lot of room for them.And I think they would be considered exotics,so you would have to check your state laws to see if they are legal where you are.




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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 02:27 PM
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I would imagine that they are legal you would have to apply for a special permit. They would be alot of work and definatley not suitable in a house with children. I spent ages on the website, looking at the pictures mostly I think it would make an intresting pet, but not something you would commit to while you are still young
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 12:04 PM
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That is quite shocking to see, a capybara on a leash ... i don't know if i like it or not. To me thats a totally wild animal and when you watch wild animal documentaries you tend to see them in it, but then when you think about it everything we've domesticated so far used to be wild in the first place.
Hmmm it would be interesting to have one though, perhaps its a new thing lol.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the responses. Like I said, I had absolutely no clue that people even were ALLOWED to have these as pets, particularly because they live in South American jungles! I think finding a vet would be really difficult, and I bet they are pretty high-maintenance pets!


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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 05:01 PM
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I would be scared to death to have an adult capybara on a leash. They are prey animals, and so many things in their native habitat eat them... imagine they get spooked and suddenly you're being dragged down the street by a 150lb rampaging rodent. I have no idea what their personality is like, but if they're anything like guinea pigs or agoutis, which I have kept, they tend to be pretty skittish around anything unfamiliar, and you have to work pretty hard from a young age to get them to enjoy human company.

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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 05:38 PM
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I would be scared to death to have an adult capybara on a leash. They are prey animals, and so many things in their native habitat eat them... imagine they get spooked and suddenly you're being dragged down the street by a 150lb rampaging rodent. I have no idea what their personality is like, but if they're anything like guinea pigs or agoutis, which I have kept, they tend to be pretty skittish around anything unfamiliar, and you have to work pretty hard from a young age to get them to enjoy human company.




That would be a funny sight!!! lol





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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 09:39 PM
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Well, from the experience I had with it in the parking lot it moves like a sloth.

It flinched (just a little) when a car started nearby which then freaked Noah out and knocked me over from a squatting positition.


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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 09:55 PM
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In most places they are legal, mainly because nobody knows what they are. Most people are very unequipped to deal with them as pets. Their needs are similar to guinea pigs, and most people don't bother taking care of their guinea pigs very well.

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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 10:27 PM
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Interesting, Kinda seems like it would be more of an outdoor pet wouldn't it?

Its funny how each year people pop up with new pets.. makes me wonder what pets our grandkids will have.



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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 01:49 AM
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In most places they are legal, mainly because nobody knows what they are. Most people are very unequipped to deal with them as pets. Their needs are similar to guinea pigs, and most people don't bother taking care of their guinea pigs very well.
Too true Unfortunatley guinea pigs are one of the most ill cared for pets because people think they are easy to take care of when the truth is they need more care than the average rodent. I would imagine capybaras are kept indoors.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 09:15 AM
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So I tried to find information about them as pets,with not much luck.

Lots of pictures on this site though:
http://www.rebsig.com/capybara/




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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Too true Unfortunatley guinea pigs are one of the most ill cared for pets because people think they are easy to take care of when the truth is they need more care than the average rodent. I would imagine capybaras are kept indoors.
From what I've read on a breeder's site, it seems they are actually meant to be outdoors pets. She talks about the shelter requirements, pond, and grass that you should be able to provide. Though it looks like the celebrity Caplin has it both ways: he's got a nice shelter outside and also gets to sleep on a special pillow inside! (There are tons of videos of him on youtube, which are pretty amusing! And according to the videos, capybaras cannot move fast at all--they are VERY slow-moving, and will only "run"--still at a turtle's pace--if excited or scared.)


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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 01:06 PM
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Maybe, being a rodent they could get messy. Its just that they are the size of a dog so cant be kept in cage/hutch and free run of the garden isnt really suitable. I guess if you built them a little stable/shed it would be OK, just thinking of the animal
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