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Press Release

Baby Capybaras born at the Zoo

Capybara January 25, 2011.

The El Paso Zoo would like to announce the arrival of their new liter of baby capybaras. The baby capybaras were born on November 6, 2010. There have been a total of four liters born at the El Paso Zoo from 2000-2010 for a total of thirteen babies.

Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world. Typically, four or five capybaras are born per liter with each weighing three to four pounds. They live in semi-aquatic habitats in South America and are born on land. They will join the group as soon as they can walk and follow their mother, typically three to four days after birth. The father of the new liter of capybaras was born at the Buffalo Zoo and the mother was born at the Turtle Back Zoo.

Capybaras have heavy, barrel-shaped bodies with short heads. A capybara can grow as long as 4 feet and can weigh over 100 pounds. Their fur is light brown on the upper parts and yellowish brown underneath. They can live up to ten years and are highly social, living in groups controlled by a dominant male. Capybaras dive and may remain underwater for up to five minutes. They are a grazing herbivore, eating mainly grasses and aquatic plants and habitat on the banks of rivers and lakes.

The capybaras are now available for the public to view. The El Paso Zoo opens daily at 9:30 am and the ticket booth closes at 4:00pm. For more information about the zoo call 915-521-1850 or visit www.elpasozoo.org.

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The El Paso Zoo is a thirty five-acre home to about 228 species of animals. Approximately 420 mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, 100 fish and 300 invertebrates live in a variety of natural habitat exhibits including a Reptile House, South American Pavilion, Americas Aviary, Cisneros Paraje, Birds of Prey, Forest Atrium, Asian Grasslands and an Elephant Complex. The El Paso Zoo is a member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA). With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation.

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