Capybara Adventure

The brave little capybara (not)

If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you know that I am not a very brave capybara. I get nervous even when we go on a walk on the dirt road that leads to our house. You can see how pouffy I am in the above photo. Poufiness is a general purpose capybara response, it could mean we are afraid or excited or happy. Whatever. In that photo, it means I am nervous.

You can imagine how surprised I was when I learned today about a capybara who is much, much braver than I am. She lives all by herself in Paso Robles, California. She goes swimming in a river, eats hay with horses (and the farmer SHOT at her!), and lounges in the tepid waters of the sewage treatment plant. There are a ton of articles about her on the web today, most not very nice but three of them at least feature videos of Caplin Rous.

I’m not happy about the Paso Robles Capybara, or Parc as I’ve decided to call her. Some of the articles that I’m not going to give you the links to were pretty mean. One even said they didn’t care if Parc was captured dead or alive! And yet she inspired me to my own adventure, not so far afield but fraught with it’s own dangers.

It all started with Melly cleaning the pool, an activity that I strongly disagree with.

Where is all my water?

Like all capybaras, I appreciate a little mud and there has been precious little of it here during this drought. The only positive side effect of pool cleaning is mud generation. I got in a good roll and then came in the house to dry off. Smelly chased me back outside as soon as she saw me. Ugh. Whenever I get muddy she makes a big deal about me washing off in some water before I can come in. So okay, I went to the pool to rinse off, good capybara that I am.

The hay was not as tall as usual and the pool was not as close as usual and the water was not as high as usual. The only thing that was usual was Melly yelling “No!” at me while at the same time snapping away on her camera. I figured she was just yelling like that because she wants me to use my little wading pool to rinse off. She has something against getting mud in the pool, although I don’t understand it.

Ignoring Melly, I jumped it.

Wow! There really wasn’t much water in there. It was a loooong way down but we capybara are good jumpers and I landed unharmed.

Just enough water to roll in

There was just enough water for me to roll in but all this junk was in my way. Plus I had forgotten how scared I get in enclosed spaces. When I looked up, I realized there was no way out.

Can I climb a ladder?

Melly uses ladders to get in and out of the pool. I checked out that possibility but these paws of mine are useless. I could never hold on to those narrow rungs. What was I going to do?

Help me! Someone help me!

I looked forlornly over the rim of the pool but Melly just stood there taking photographs. Okay, she was also trying to figure out how to get me out but it looked a lot like she was just taking photos. And I can’t really rely on her. Some things a capy has to do for himself. Plus I was inspired by Parc.

The hay should be right on the other side.

My pool table was gone but I still knew where the hay stack was on the outside. All I had to do was get myself up and over the side with no pool table and no water to help me.

Did you know I can jump?

Did you know that capybaras can jump? I’m wondering if Parc’s owners didn’t know that either. I wonder if that’s how she escaped. Maybe she just jumped their fence? But then why did she leave? Maybe she wandered off looking for grass and got lost and didn’t know how to get back. That’s part of the reason Melly and Rick take me on walks near the house, if I ever get out I can find my way back.

Well, that was interesting

When I got out I realized that in my panic I didn’t even roll myself clean. Still, I didn’t feel like getting back in and doing the whole thing over again.

Shake it off

A good shake and I was fairly clean. Clean enough. Okay, I can’t imagine the level of clean Melly wants but it was clean enough for me.

Back to the house!

Adventure done, I headed back into the house. Melly had to stay outside and finish cleaning the pool so no more photos, yeah!

I keep thinking about Parc all alone with farmers shooting at her and people setting traps (if you’ve read Celeste and the Giant Hamster you know that won’t work). Sure the sewage treatment plant ponds seem really nice, but who is there to feed her corn-on-the-cob or gummy bears or my newly discovered favorite, yogurt covered pretzels? And I bet she misses her home and her owners.

I think I am going to let Melly hug me tonight.


12 comments to Capybara Adventure

  • Cheryl

    It just breaks my heart to think of that poor animal in california and the ignorance of people. I hope it all turns out alright.

  • Dear Gari,

    The news stories are now saying nicer things about capybaras and I’m sure it’s due to you and Caplin. (I posted the Paso Robles story on your Facebook page.)

    I’m glad that you are exploring your surroundings so you can always get back home again. It’s really important to know where you live! I bet that poor capy got lost or was abandoned.

  • Hugs to you Garibaldi. I am glad that you are safe at home. I was the one who wrote about the lost capybara for the story and I definitely wanted to take the opportunity to make more people aware of you and Caplin by providing a link to your site. I hope that you don’t think our story was one of the mean ones, because we are very much capybara lovers. <3

  • Garibaldi Rous

    CollegeNews was one of the good ones, that’s why I posted the link. Thank you for the article and the mention.

  • Mommazon

    Excellent adventure!

    I have been following the Parc News very closely as it is only an hour away from my house. I have chastised the news person that reported the horrible words about poor Parc, although she was very poorly informed by a so called ZOO director.

    I was horrified that people were claiming this was a rampaging beast and trying to attack their pets.

    I sincerely hope that she can be humanely relocated to a better habitat where she can have buddies and proper care. Thanks to you for being a great ambassador to your species.

  • Mommazon

    LOL@ Small Town Mom….I posted one there too! I knew our favourite friend would want to hear about the plight of a lost cousin and perhaps shed some light on the uneducated and ignorant.

  • Kerry Anne Kay

    Wow! You can jump! Nice one!

  • Lia

    I love you Gari. You are so cute. Mel, I live in California, but my mom and sister- in law are from south America and I first became aware of Capy’s about a year ago. I started researching them in March and found Caplin’s blog and Capybara Madness. I fell in love with Capy’s and have been obsessed ever since. I wrote you an email back in March or April to empathize with you about Caplin, as my 20- year old kitty had just passed away also. You were so sweet to respond to me. Anyway, I use to live up in the Central Coast of California near Paso Robles and my best friend still lives in Paso. So I was super intrigued to the story on the news yesterday. I purposely didn’t read any comments from people regarding Parc because I know that there are unfortunately always bad people who write sick and awful things. It would break my heart to know what kinds of cruel things people said about one of these docile and sweet
    creatures. Paso Robles can get very cold in the winter and I worry about Parc. I also worry about ignorant and mean people hurting Parc. In your opinion, do you think Parc would be better at the Zoo or roaming free? I am not a big fan of zoo’s ( although I love the conservation. Efforts the San Diego Zoo is a part of, but since Parc is not in her native habitat and was probably somewhat domesticated, I wonder if the zoo would be a good alternative. Thoughts?

  • Garibaldi Rous

    Lia: She has apparently been living in the “wild” there for at least three years. In the photos she looks to be in good condition. I don’t have a problem with zoos but I would hate to see her go to that Atascadero zoo with the apparently horrible curator. In one clip I saw he said they had 2 capybara but the female killed the male. “for no reason.” I wonder if the reason wasn’t that their habitat was in some way not suitable for capybara. On the other hand, the news reports have poisoned the atmosphere for her since so many of them were so negative. People are always the greatest danger and I believe that danger is greater now than before.

  • Lia

    Hmm. I might see if I can have my friend go there and check it out for me. I was just at the San Diego Zoo about a week ago (we had family in town) and the capy
    Habitat there seemed nice. Going to do some research and make some calls. 🙂

  • Sarah

    Im sure you saw it- but if not I thought I’d let you know! did a nice article about capybaras and they mentioned Caplin Rous. They called him the most famous capybara!!

  • Regi

    I’m out in Cali and the latest news is that as long as humans leave Parc alone, they won’t try and trap her. There is a rescue organization ready to take Parc if anything happens. I too can’t believe the farmer tried to shoot Parc either! Sadly it appears that there used to be *2* loose capys in the same area – the body of one was found a year or two ago at a golf course. Even if the owner did not have the proper permits – it is not illegal to own a capy, but you’d better know what you’re doing – I cannot imagine not report 2 runaways, or just leaving them out in the wild to fend for themselves. Paso Robles is semi-rural and there is the Salinas River and things that make it a capy-friendly habitat, but you don’t just let them go out on their own, even if they are as capable as Parc (or you Gari).

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