Caplin Rous 07/10/2007 – 01/04/2011

Caplin on Dec. 31, 2010

Sometimes things happen that there is just no way to prepare yourself for. Sometimes it seems like your world has fallen apart. That is how I feel now. Caplin Rous was the glue that held my life together. You might think you can see that from his presence on the web and on TV but that doesn’t capture it. The first thing I heard every morning when I got up was his cute little happy Geiger counter noise and it was the last sound I heard at night, at least until he eeped to wake me  for a midnight snack.

I’m going to let this blog speak for Caplin’s life, what a wonderful, cute and unique animal he was, his tremendous personality and his gentle nature. I can’t add significantly to that in a single post.

I’d like to thank everyone who has sent notes on Facebook or twitter or posted comments on this blog or any of his accounts or sent me personal emails. I have literally received  thousands of messages of condolence and it makes me cry to think how many people’s lives he touched and how many people will miss him. Thank you. It helps to know this. I wish I could respond to all of you individually but, to be honest, I haven’t responded to anyone because I just don’t feel up to it.

We still don’t know what happened to Caplin. He had been irritable for a couple of days but nothing serious. When I left for work Monday morning, he seemed fine. By the time I got home, he could hardly walk. I got his harness on him and was able to lead him to the car but I had to help him get in. I rushed him to Texas A&M University small animal hospital because they were the only ones I thought might have the expertise to help. It was the longest 140 miles of my life. By the time we got there, Caplin could hardly move.

An hour or so after we arrived at A&M, Caplin had a seizure and the vet had to give him a sedative to bring him out of it. After that, he was never really conscious again. He died the next afternoon from another seizure right after completing a head MRI. A full necropsy is being done but preliminary findings indicate chronic liver disease that at the end manifested as encephalopathy. Apparently Caplin had been sick for a long time but never shown any outward signs of it.

I will write a new post when we have the final results of the necropsy.

If you would like to help with Caplin’s medical expenses, please consider purchasing a Capycoppy plush animal from We expect to set up a charity in his name and will use excess funds to seed that. When we have that in place, I will post about it on this blog.

Rolling in a dry Capybara Creek 12/11/2010

107 comments to Caplin Rous 07/10/2007 – 01/04/2011

  • Becca

    I’m so sorry for your loss
    The very first time I saw a video of Caplin I didn’t know what a capybara was and he came lumbering out to eat a popsicle. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen! Ever since I’ve been obsessed with capybaras, especially Caplin. I hope it helps knowing he will be missed by a lot of people 🙁

  • Ellen

    So sorry about Caplin. He was a wonderful animal who so obviously brought joy to a lot of people. My heart goes out to you in your time of loss. RIP Caplin.

  • Ann

    I cried when I found out Caplin had passed on. It is amazing how much furry, scaled and feathered friends of all species enrich our lives and make each day that much more special. It grieves me that they are only with us a short time and not forever. I lost one of my guinea pigs in a similar manner as Caplin went and before her time as well. One morning she was happy and healthy, that night she had seizures and then was gone. And although people say that they’re just animals, us pet owners know better. Our lives are better for having known them and sadder for having lost them. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful animal with all of us. Although I never met him, I felt I knew Caplin.

  • Jennah

    So many people are so sorry for your deep loss. Thank you for sharing wonderful Caplin with the world; he will always be remembered very fondly as the most internationally adored rodent of unusual size.

  • I think Caplin touched all of us more than we realized, especially those of us that keep capybaras, I feel like I lost one of my own…..I can only imagine what your family is going through….I don’t know what it is about them, but living with capybaras will change a person, it is a truly special relationship that is different than I have had with any other animal and I cannot imagine living without them. Melanie, if there is anything I can do don’t hesitate to ask, I am looking forward to receiving our Capycoppys and hanging Caplin’s calender up for another year.

  • We just heard. We are so sorry about Caplin. *hugs*

  • Megan

    I’ve been following Caplin for a couple of years on this website. Logging in every couple of weeks to see what adventures (mischieveous or not), new tricks or holiday fashion outfit he’s wearing. He really made my day and will surely be missed by many.

    R.I.P. Cap

  • Linda

    Oh No! I am so sorry and shocked to hear this! He was so big and looked so healthy and happy and was always on the web everywhere and now he’s just…gone?! I am so sorry for you. I lost my precious Cedric in November after almost 11 years and I miss him every day. I just can’t believe Caplin Rous is no more. 🙁

  • thinkpad1

    we cried together and said no it can;t be true. we will never forget you xxxx000

  • marilee shelton

    i was just reading the other posts…. these folks and I all seem to feel the same way… we all feel as though we genuinely knew Caplin… you just shared him sooo much with us… we’ll always be grateful for that… but, Melanie…. that’s just you. You are a wonderful lady whom it is my honor to have made a friend…. if there is anything that you can think of that i can do…. let me know.. if you would just like to get away for a while, you know you can ALWAYS come on down here to Florida and stay with me…. just as long as you want. hugs…

  • Erika

    Words cannot express how sad I am over the loss of Caplin. I am so grateful to you, Melanie, for everything you ever shared, and my thoughts are with you at this most difficult time. Much love to your entire family.

  • Thank you for sharing Caplin with us. We will miss him.

  • Anne

    So sorry for your loss! Losing a furry friend that shared your life is hard.
    Thank you for sharing Caplin with us – it almost feels like we got to know him as well.
    I hope that all the good wishes help you a little bit.

  • I Can’t believe that Caplin died. I only discovered him on the 25 of this past december, and it is a great loss. I’m really sorry. The world always nees another capyburry

  • Sarah

    I wept for nearly ten min. after I read of Caplin’s passing. He touched so many lives and brought so much joy. I know I will never be able to hear about capybara without thinking of him.

  • Heidi

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I really enjoyed reading about Caplin on your wonderful blog.

  • Alma

    Today, I finished my Capybara-san papercraft… and I was so happy that I decided to visit this page, which was waiting me with these sad news

    I started loving capybaras when I found some Calpin vids, he was cute… I have never seen a capybara live, so Caplin was the one who made me curios about them. I found Caplin about 2 or 3 months ago, but that was enough to star loving him.

    I already know how sad is to lose a pet, my dog died some months ago, she was 14, and I still miss her, she was cute and playful until her last days… but one day she started to be very tired and behaving weird, so I went to many vets, but they were only playing (that´s what I felt) with us and medicines, you know what happened in next days…

    Now I´m really sad because I´m having these horrible feelings again… and I want to cry T_T
    I´m sure that we will always remember Caplin as the world’s cutest Capybara Human-owner we have ever met.
    I know Caplin is happy now, running free within great green fields with lots of water to swim, and with other capys, waiting for you
    I´ll save some money to buy a capycoppy soon 😉

    I´m sorry …

  • tilimoska

    I got used to loving him. Mourning with you.

  • Puppy the Guinea Pig

    I love you Caplin! You will always be my ultimate hero! I will continue to try and grow and big as you and will never stop trying! We know your mommy is much pain these days…with time it will feel better for her. You are blessed my friend…she loves you dearly!
    Puppy the Guinea Pig

  • Lois

    I just read about your loss and had to tell you how very sorry I am….all of us who have loved a special pet share your sorrow. Caplin was certainly special and he was definitely loved. What a wonderful ambassador to his kind he was! I am thankful he had you to care for him. What a lucky boy.

  • Sarek

    We are all very sorry to learn about Caplin. We loved checking out his facebook site. He will be missed.

  • Ratfancy

    I can’t remember when I first found Caplin, but that face! I watched his antics daily, secretly wishing, hoping, and planning for the day I might have my own capybara. I think what appealed to me was the big heart, the bond, the persistant begging, the wonky walk and web feet, the big nose and the big teeth! All too cute. And I know that I am not the only one reacting that way to this very special pet. Caplin Rous in various costumes captured my heart. I saw my first close-up capybara at a zoo last year, and the caretakers were weighing and feeding her. They showed an obvious bond to this 14-year-old madam, living alone in a pool with many other zoo friends. I learned that she was not lonely, as sometimes in old age, they prefer to just hang out, not competing with other capys. I hope that we all will learn more about capybaras so that Caplin’s ambassadorship will prove fruitful.

  • Joselph Snapple

    I am sorry for your loss. He was a great animal and didnt deserve to go so soon. But let this serve as an example that we should leave these animals in their natural habitat. They are programed to metabolize foods like grass and vegetation and not industralized-processed foods like yogurt and Sugar-heavy Frozen pops. Again I do realize you must of loved this animal like no other based on your website but lets all learn something from this bad experience and keep wild animals in the wild– UNLESS we plan to follow their strict diets and exact habitat.
    RIP Caplin

    (To be honest, I think you are a self righteous jerk, but that’s just my opinion based on a small sample set and I wouldn’t extrapolate to your entire family. (Melanie))

  • Luis Tehado

    You will be missed old buddy.

  • We are so sorry for Caplin’s sudden departure from our world. We share the loss with you Melanie, and are heartbroken. We loved him from afar and always hoped we would get the chance to meet him for real someday. Thank you for sharing his adventures with us and educating us about the lives of various rodents. We will miss him so.

    BZTAT and the Brew

  • I am so sad to hear about Caplin our pal. I just heard and I can’t believe it. I loved hearing all about him and I’m so sorry for your loss. Big hugs. xxoo
    Diane and Cosmo

  • My husband and I met Caplin last year at the Guinea Pig Hoedown in Grapevine, TX. Ever since, we’ve followed his life on your blog and through Facebook. My husband even ordered a copy of your book as a surprise for me a while back! 🙂

    I’m shocked and saddened for you and your family and Caplin, of course (and for all of us who will miss him). However, I think that you’ve done a HUGE service for animals like Caplin everywhere in that you’ve demonstrated what a massive undertaking caring for “exotic” pets truly is — that it’s not to be taken lightly and isn’t for everyone, especially those bent toward collecting “designer” pets. Without your detailed stories, as well as those chronicled by other capy folk, I probably would have wanted my own Caplin without realizing how different from having a cat or dog that would be. That said, I have really enjoyed living vicariously through you and your adventures. Thank you so much for sharing Caplin with us all, and we’ve got you in our thoughts at this time.

  • Gem

    I’m so very sorry to hear the tragic news. Caplin was such a wonderful ‘bara who deeply touched my heart and so many other people’s. I can’t imagine what you must be going through; I hope that the messages from all of us who loved Caplin give you some small comfort at this terrible time. I will treasure my Capycoppy as a way of honouring Caplin, and will of course support his charity. Thank you for sharing his amazing life with us – we will never forget you Caplin.
    Gem xx

  • I’ve always enjoyed Caplin Rous’ blog posts and photos. I am so sorry to hear he has passed. Blessings to you and yours at this sad time!

  • rcoover

    I’m so very sorry Melanie. Caplin’s posts on Facebook always brightened my day. Thank you for sharing him with us.

  • I am profoundly sorry for the loss of Caplin. He was a gorgeous, funny, sweet, charming, and proud capybara. I never met him in person/capybara, but I feel as if I knew him thanks to your wonderful posts. He made my life richer and never failed to make me smile. Thank you for sharing him with us.

  • Lynn

    I have not been on here for such a long time and just now, when I read about Caplin, I felt my heart stop … and then start aching for you. I’m so, so sorry …

  • Becky

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Caplin was indeed a special friend. Thank you for letting us share your life with him.

    I just found your website a few weeks ago and had been enjoying reading the achives. My visit today brings great sadness.

    Swim free sweet Caplin Rous! I hope there are endless popsicles over the rainbow bridge.

  • Jeffrey Campbell

    I can’t imagine what you are going through at the moment. Caplin was one of the first friends of my cat Sadie The-Kitty when she first started online. I thank you for your friendship.

    Jeff & Melissa Campbell
    Sydney, Australia

  • Rayna

    Melanie – Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of Caplin Rous. I loved reading about him and seeing his pictures and videos. He was truly beautiful and wonderful, and a joy to all of us out in the world.

    Thank you for sharing your dear friend and bringing delight and education to so many. You and he have done a lot of good for a lot of people. And I feel that your love and care gave Caplin the best life he could possibly have had.

    Rayna and Shakira (guinea pig)

  • Veronica

    I have been trying to put together words for you, for Caplin. He made so, so happy. I loved his videos and loved knowing what he was eating/doing. I cannot imagine what you’re going through because I never ever met him and I’ve cried more than once since hearing of his passing.

    And becuase writing this breaks my heart for you and your love for Caplin, I end with words from Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meeghan, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

    Thank you for sharing Caplin with us. For making the videos and making me, and many of us out here, fall in love with such a beautiful spirit.

  • I am so sorry for you loss. You taught us about Cappybaras and we loved seeing Caplin online. I didn’t realize you were so near Austin or I’d have had my nephew visit with my mom when she visited him there. You’ve done a great service to Cappybaras and he was lucky to have fallen in with your wonderful family.


  • Krista

    We are so sad to hear about the loss of Caplin. He meant to much to our son, Isaac who loves capybaras and was devastated to hear of his passing. We pray for comfort for your family.

  • Denise

    Oh, Melanie–I am SO sorry for your loss; Caplin always brightened the days of everyone he met, whether in person or online. I will miss him, too–tho I only admired him from afar.

  • He will be sadly missed. Thank you so much for sharing his life with us.

  • diamondbertie

    to lose an animal is always hard and I do feel for you

  • JustAnotherTrnd

    DUSTY: Miss Melanie. We first met you & Caplin at #petchat and just grew to love you both.
    HURLEY: We’re so sorry for your loss. Caplin was an ambassador for Cappys and a dear family member. Bless you.

  • Dawn

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. I always liked reading about Caplin and his adventures. He seemed like such a sweet soul.

  • Alyse

    I have been in love with capybaras ever since I was a small child. I had never met anyone who knew what a capybara was. I learned about a month ago that it was legal to own a capybara in Texas, where I live. As I started researching the subject, the first thing I found was Caplin ROUS. I think I watched every YouTube video there was, forwarding many of them to my husband to convince him that we needed a capybara. I started following Caplin on Twitter and was excited for every new tweet. He had become my newest obsession. I was so upset when I found out he had passed away. I couldn’t believe it. My heart is breaking for you. I am deeply sorry for your loss. Caplin has given me a new love for capybaras.

  • Alex

    Oh my gosh. I found out about this guy just two days before he died. D:

    Guinea pigs are good at hiding illness–it’s an anti-predatory maneuver. I wouldn’t be surprised if capybaras were like that as well.

    Do capybaras eat pretty much all the time? Did you see him lose some appetite? That happened to one of our guinea pigs once and we thought it was no big deal until we talked to the vet. By then it was too late. It turned out that she had some sort of pancreatic problem (perhaps diabetes? She was rather fat…) We found out that guinea pigs had to eat pretty much constantly. Maybe if you have another capybara then you’d know better what to watch out for.

    Poor guy. You have my sympathies. 🙁

  • I’m not sure how I missed this sad news last week, but I’m catching up now. I am so very sorry for your loss. We will keep you in our hearts.

  • Carolyn

    I am so incredibly sorry that you lost your baby much too soon. I just stumbled on your website the other day via & was so excited to see a blog devoted to the pet of my childhood dreams, then when I saw that he recently passed away I was heartbroken. I’ve watched many of Caplin’s videos & he looked like such a sweet gentle little (yet big) baby. It looks like you gave him the best possible life imagineable & I’m sure he loved you very much for it.

    Swim free little Caplin & may your days be filled with endless popsicles! What a sweetheart.

  • Caplin Rous was such a sweet creature, and will be sorely missed.

    We recently filmed a fun video with him that we hope serves as a great tribute to him. You can see the video here:

    Rest in peace.

  • Lynn Marcotte

    I just read everyone’s comments. How loved he was, even by most people who had never met him in person.
    I too shall miss him an awful lot. I’m grateful for all the videos & photos that I never tire of watching!

  • Kathy

    It had been a while since I was on the blog and am so saddened to see of Cappy’s passing! I am sooo sorry for your loss. Like so many others, I had no idea what a Caplin Rous was until I saw your story on 20/20. I immediately loved the little guy! I’m terribly sorry for the hurt I know you are going through. His memories will be kept very close to your heart and know that others grieve with and for you. Take Care!!

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