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A Capy Mother’s Song

Wild capybara mother with three babies

Tell us a story!

I left my mother when I was only seven days old. I know! Way too young. I don’t know why my mother’s people took me away from her, it just happened. But even so, I learned some things from her. Every baby capybara learns the Song of the Dangers from the very first day they are born. My mother used to sing it to me and my siblings as we went to sleep, which we did a lot in those days.

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The Wild Life

Wild capybaras with caiman (photo by Coral Waters)

Wild capybaras with caiman (photo by Coral Waters)

I think humans are romantics. They have dreamy visions of the world. Fantasies based only loosely on reality. I think this because so many people comment that I would be better off in the wild. If I could actually speak human, I would tell them that they would be better off in the wild.

I’m not saying that all capybaras should be pets. In some ways I do envy my wild cousins. I’d like to be free to travel far and wide. To swim the languorous Amazon. To graze grassy meadows stretching as far as the eye can see. To lie with a band of my family and friends under the scant shade of bushes in the heat of the day. It sure sounds great.

But see that photo at the top of this post? That is a young caiman with a couple of adult capys. Caiman are like alligators. That one is too small to hurt those capys and they all know it. But it could catch a baby capybara and eat it. Or it’s larger friends could even threaten those adult capys.

And caiman aren’t the only dangers that lurk in the water.

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Wild Capys in Venezuela

Capybaras at sunset.

Capybaras at sunset.

One of the reasons my owner decided to get me was because she saw my wild cousins on her last trip to Venezuela. That was in Feb. 2007 and she got me that July. Not a coincidence. So I owe these capybaras my very life…or at least my lifestyle. I have to admit, I have it pretty cush. These capys have no idea there even is such a thing as air-conditioning, or even heating for that matter. Imagine what that must be like.

Capybara family. Male in front, female and infant.

Capybara family. Male in front, female and infant.

I love looking at these photos even though I wouldn’t really like to be a wild capybara. It is something to dream about but not something to really do. What would it be like to live in a big band like this one?

Band of wild capybaras at Hato El Frio, Venezuela

Band of wild capybaras at Hato El Frio, Venezuela

And I’ve always wanted a bird to come sit on my back. These North American birds just won’t do it.

I want a bird on my back like these two capys have.

I want a bird on my back like these two capys have.

The dark side of the story is the dangerous predators wild capybaras face. I don’t know why my owner and her kids seem to happy hold this killer animal. Don’t they know how dangerous anacondas are?

My owner (Melanie) and kids (Coral and Philip) with deadly anaconda.

My owner (Melanie) and kids (Coral and Philip) with deadly anaconda.

This caiman is probably stalking a baby capybara. They are ruthless murderers of small capys.

A killer caiman no doubt searching for baby capybaras.

A killer caiman no doubt searching for baby capybaras.

If you want to see capybaras in the wild, my owner and I recommend Hato El Frio, where these photos were taken.