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Capybara Pups Born at County Zoo

Join in Earth Day at the zoo April 22. (Photo courtesy of Cape May County Zoo)

The Cape May County Zoo announced the birth of a pair of capybara pups.

The breeding pair, Mikey and Budette, just had their second litter of capybara pups since June.

Budette is keeping her babies with her inside the capybara building following their birth on Feb. 3. The pups will stay with mom inside until more seasonable spring temperatures arrive.

“But in the meantime, we will do our best to share photos of these new additions with everyone. Like us on Facebook to see the animals regularly posted,” said Dr. Alex Ernst, associate veterinarian. “Currently, the pups’ gender is unknown. They are staying very close to mom.”

The capybara is the world’s largest rodent, growing to between 3.3 to 4.3 feet in body length and can weigh from 60 to 175 pounds.

They mainly eat grasses, including aquatic vegetation, grains, melons and squashes.

Gestation lasts up to 120 days, with an average of three pups. There can be up to seven pups born in a litter.

Capybaras are proficient swimmers and are known to swim underwater for considerable distances. They live in large groups of extended family members, with group sizes varying from two to 30 and with one dominant breeding male.

Although zoo visitors may not see the new capybara babies right now, almost all of the other animals are viewable every day, weather permitting.

The Cape May County Zoo is free and open daily year-round. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Cape May County Park is open daily from 7 a.m. until dusk. For more information about the park and zoo, visit www.cmczoo.com.

“We have seen record crowds over the past year and are proud of the reputation our zoo has earned,” said Cape May County Commissioner E. Marie Hayes, liaison to the county parks and zoo. “We encourage visitors to come to the zoo year-round. There is always something new and exciting happening, and the birth of new babies is always a big attraction.”