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Taronga Zoo opens new Capybara habitat

Taronga Zoo opens new Capybara habitat
September 30, 2019

Just in time for the school holidays, Taronga Zoo has recently opened their new Capybara habitat, marking the first time these animals will be on display in Sydney.

Capybaras, native to South America, are the world’s largest rodent and their new habitat at Taronga incorporates open, grassed areas for grazing, large trees to provide shade, thicker shrubbery for shelter, and a large water feature for swimming and soaking.

Capybaras are a semi-aquatic mammal with webbed feet. To cool off in the summer heat and get away from predators, they can dive and stay underwater for up to five minutes at a time. On land they can reach speeds up to 35km/hr and socialise in groups of fellow mates. In groups, these social animals can be heard communicating with each other by purring, barking, cackling, whistling, squealing and grunting, with each sound delivering a different message and meaning.

Taronga Zoo Director Simon Duffy advised "the opening of the new Capybara habitat at Taronga Zoo, is part of our evolution as a modern zoo. A zoo visit today is about being inspired by some of the world’s wildlife while also discovering ways each of us can live more sustainably and conserve wildlife.

“We want to educate people when they come into the zoo about the wild, in ways which are dignified for the animals, but also exciting for visitors. With the nature of Capybaras being very social, we’ve designed the new habitat, to allow visitors to get up and close to these animals, so people can really get to know them.”

NSW Minister for the Environment Matt Kean said the Capybara habitat will help educate visitors about the importance of wildlife conservation in Australia and globally.

Minister Kean noted "empowering all Australians to be a champion of our environment is key to protecting it and education plays a vital role. We have the opportunity to leave our environment and our planet in a better place than we found it and it’s important we take it.

“The new habitat shows how Taronga Zoo is best placed to significantly contribute to conservation programs, with their skilled animal experts, research and advocacy. I’m thrilled to welcome these Capybaras to the Zoo.”

The new Capybara habitat is home to five Capybaras named Pedro, Guillermo, Sanchez, Carlos and Rodney.

Related Articles

29th September 2019 - ZAA-accredited zoos and aquariums highlight their activities through Conservation Week

23rd September 2019 - $40 million Monarto Zoo development to provide ‘biggest safari experience outside of Africa’

11th August 2019 - Adelaide Zoo now home to two pig-nosed turtles

8th August 2019 - Zoorassic attraction contributes to Perth Zoo’s highest recorded annual visitation

18th July 2019 - Zoos and aquariums celebrate and educate through Plastic Free July

1st May 2019 - New exhibit at Singapore Zoo features graceful predator

30th April 2019 - Zoos Victoria ban all single-use plastics 

4th March 2019 - Taronga Zoo Seal Show wins award for Public Engagement

27th February 2019 - Bali Zoo elephant experience attracts thousands of tourists

20th February 2019 - Perth Zoo’s otter breeding program helps protect species against extinction

8th November 2018 - Report advises that attractions need to invest in ticketing technology

17th September 2018 - ZAA-accredited zoos to collaborate on conservation and animal welfare

25th June 2018 - Giraffes at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo set for new $50 million home

2nd June 2018 - Sea Life Sydney Aquarium awarded for offering best large animal exhibit

28th May 2018 - Zoos and aquariums look to reduce plastic waste


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