Kapi’yva Exotics: Part 1

Scarlet and Scarlotta

Owner’s Blog:

Every now and then I do something interesting that Garibaldi Rous is not involved in so I post on this blog myself. I know, it is hard to believe that there is anything interesting that doesn’t involve Gari but you’ll just have to read this post and make your own assessment.

As you might know from Gari’s recent posts, Stacy Winnick, who owns Caplin Rous’ little brother Dobby, came out to visit. I was sure lucky to have her when we took Gari to TAMU for the open house. Experienced capybara handlers are hard to come by. But I couldn’t have her visit be all work and no play. Plus we figured Gari could use a day of rest after his very stressful trip up to College Station. So the next day Stacy and I headed down to Houston (Pearland actually but close enough) to visit Kapi’yva Exotics. I’d say this is where Garibaldi was born but that’s not quite true since Kapi’yva has relocated recently. We brought my daughter Coral along with us and Liz and Marc Capaldi drove in a separate car.

Coral at Donut Taco Palace II

I’m going to skip the part about how hard it is to get two non-morning people up in the morning, especially when one of them has a two hour jet lag and the other spent too much time drinking the night before. I’ll leave you to guess which was which. Late as we were getting around, it was still imperative that we stop for breakfast at Coral’s favorite breakfast nook, Donut Taco Palace II. Donuts and breakfast tacos, what could be better? While getting our tacos, Coral explained that Austin is the breakfast taco capitol of the world. Who knew?

Donut hands

Aside from breakfast tacos, Donut Taco Palace II has some interesting donuts. Later, in the car, Stacy ate a hand.

It’s a good thing we had a hearty breakfast because it is a looong drive to Pearland. It’s actually farther to Pearland than it is to Houston from my house. The car estimated it would take us 3.5 hours and that’s pretty much what it took. We’re actually lucky at that because I forgot to watch the fuel gauge and realized when we were out in the middle of nowhere that we were almost out of gas. Luckily my little Prius kept chugging along, we didn’t even have to use the extra two or three miles we can squeeze out of the electric engine once the gas is gone.


Only in Houston

Nothing spells Houston to me like weird cars. I suppose this might be from their amazing and fun Art Card Parade, which I highly recommend you attend if you are going to be in the area on May 12 this year. But it might also be from stuff like the car pictured in the photo above. What is up with those hubcaps? Is that legal? Doesn’t it make turning hard?

Video of weird hubcaps


Kapi'yva Exotics

The first thing I noticed when we arrived at Kapi’yva Exotics was how clean, neat and well-maintained everything seemed to be. It’s all new since Justin just moved there last year but he has really done a fantastic job getting things set up for his animals. All of the animals have nice big cages designed with them in mind. I imagine the wooden walkways will make life a million times easier if it ever rains. Seems like the drought is back in full force here in Buda, maybe it is not so bad in Houston.


Coral feeding the Asian otters

The second thing we noticed were these two cute Asian otters! They were so adorable and playful. However we were strongly warned that they bite!


Otter teeth look small but sharp

But we didn’t come to see otters, so we had to move on.


Fishing cat

Luckily the fishing cats were asleep or we wouldn’t have been able to pull ourselves away from them. Look at that beautiful color!


African crested porcupine

It was pretty darned hard to move away from the African crested porcupines. They have the cutest faces! We even got to pet them. And Justin let us take home some of their shed quills. Those things are sharp!


3rd largest rodent (after capybaras and beavers)

The porcupines were very active and curious. I love those little eyes and great big rodent nose!

Well, looks like this post is getting too long and I haven’t even reached the capybaras yet. Guess I’ll have to break it up into two posts. In the meantime, I will leave you with an adorable capybara video.

Adorable capybara video

13 comments to Kapi’yva Exotics: Part 1

  • nice tour..I am jealous that I did not get to go.It looks like lots of fun.

  • Ann M. Bednarek

    What beautiful animals! But Garibaldi Rous is still my favorite. Melly, you are such a blessing to your wonderfully loved babies. You give them such a good life. I love you all, Ann

  • Chanda Bellick

    Melly your trip sounds like so much fun. I still not sure how all of you got out of their without taking a baby? Well I can’t wait to hear about the rest if your visit.

  • francine

    Scarlet sure did make some fierce sounds! And i want to hold a one day old capy! And eat taco doughnuts!

    Justin’s new place looks gorgeous!

  • Mahia

    I’d like to visit that place too!

  • Lynn Marcotte

    Oh my, how fantastic this was…so jealous!!!
    Even the donuts looked fantastic!
    Is this where Liz held a baby for an hour?
    As Chandra said, I too am surprised you didn’t walk out w/ a baby!!

  • Michelle

    Makes me wish I’d never left Alvin, Texas – I could’ve gone to get my capybara fix so close to home….plains of Colorado just don’t make for good capy habitat! Nice to see such a well-planned facility for all those critters!

  • Bonnie Vollbeer

    Melanie, I love your life!! It was wonderful to meet Scarlet, Gari’s mother. (is that correct?) I eagerly await your next blog.

  • Danielle O'Sullivan

    Great post! Those doughnuts looks delish! This is an odd question, but how exactly to you pronounce Kapi’yva? I have been wondering that for awhile. Can’t wait to read the next installment, the capys are just adorable. I would eep with excitement if I ever held one of the little babies! SO CUTE!!!!

  • Kristy Ogden

    Awwwww Melanie that baby capy is so sweet. You’re so lucky to be able to have held him. 🙂

  • melissa petty

    OMG! Donut Taco Palace!?! That sounds amazing! And baby capybaras! What fun!

  • Nic

    I sooooooo want to eat a doughnut hand. OMG 1 day old baby capys are sooooooo cute.

  • Liz

    Love the pictures Mel!!!

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