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Rodents of Unusual Size: Anyone See the Capybara on My Strange Obsession?


Well-known Member
Cavy Gazer
Mar 20, 2012
Did anyone watch the "My Strange Obsession" episode with the capybara? He's definitely a rodent of unusual size! My husband thinks he looks like a giant guinea pig, but apparently they're a semi-aquatic species so they spend a lot of time in the water. I can't even imagine having a pet that's so high maintenance; Amy and Borat are bad enough.

If you missed it, here's a link to the capybara's web page, with has a link to the episode: (broken link removed)

I have to admit he's awfully cute, but I'm sticking to piggies.
I love Capybaras, and for some reason they're very popular here. (Even a cute capybara character you can buy all kinds of related-goods for). Not exactly pet material though! Also they're very bristly so would be nowhere near as nice to pet as a guinea.

But they are adorable!
I think it s awful keeping them as pets, they're wild animals, its just cruel :(
on billy the exterminator he was showing how he captured a nutria
I was shocked to discover that they can usually be potty trained because they'll go in a bowl of water.

It does seem like they're pretty wild to be kept as pets because they don't tend to live anywhere near a normal lifespan in captivity. The woman on the show had one that only lived three years before she got her second one. She seems to take excellent care of them, but they have so many special needs that I imagine it would be hard for one to make a normal life expectancy. If you read her blog, they also get very aggressive and bite viciously during mating season.
I would love a capybara. They are so cute and i've seen videos and they look to have similar vocal cues to a guinea pig. Teeth clicks for anger, soft wheeking for content. Sure they're an atypical pet but i think any exotic is really just a wild animal kept as a pet. The level of care is daunting, for sure, but i also want a fennec fox and those require special care to. Just comes down to research and commitment!

I doubt i'll ever have one though since my girlfriend is convinced it'll eat her or something. For now i am content with the mini capybaras that are my two americans! (they seriously look just like one! Minus the color of course)
well not really, guinea pigs for example are exotic pets but dont exist in the wild, they're a domestic species. Capybaras are very much wild animals, not domestic at all. I think its cruel and selfish for humans to take these animals (including fennec foxes, sugar gliders, monkeys etc.) out of their natural habitats just because they think they're cute or they want an unusual pet. Many of these species are potentially quite dangerous as well. You can try and give them the best care you can, but bottom line is they belong in the wild.

I honestly cant believe its not illegal in America to keep some of these species as pets, like big cats for example, it breaks my heart that there are more tigers being kept as "pets" in the U.S. than there are left in the wild in Asia, I think its an absolute disgrace.

Sorry for the rant but I'm a zoologist and I feel very strongly about this subject.
@Eimear I couldn't agree more with you!
Erm, I don't know how I feel about the whole "wild animals should be kept wild" thing. All the pets we have today are the result domestication. Some have been in domestication longer and that makes them more suitable for living with a human. Domestication is a huge struggle in the beginning. For both the animal and the human.

On the other hand, you have people who start breeding things just because they're cute and eventually it just becomes another species that gets mistreated by the crappier humans in existence. I wouldn't think Capybaras have this issue, as they're hard to get and extremely costly.

I also don't know how I'd feel about animals never becoming domesticated. My life wouldn't be the same without animals. They bring something into our lives that is truly special. I just wish domesticated animals were never abused, overbred, bred with huge risks to health, or homeless.

Now as for the video, that woman seems kind of lonesome. It was really hard watching when she was remembering Caplan Rous. I don't see anything wrong with having them as pets, though I have not read heavily into it. It would take a lot of dedication to make sure they're happy in captivity. This woman seems to put a lot of thought into his care.
They are cute and I've only seen them in zoo's.
I'll stick with guinea pigs they are high maintenance enough for me.
Thats my thought process MissJean.

Animals are animals and no matter the years of domestication they have the same base as their wild counterparts. I guess it just comes down to what you define as wild animal. My cats and guinea pigs are wild animals in my mind. Especially the piggies. The cats are more semi wild i suppose. Dogs and perhaps sheep are the only things i've seen that i might call totally domesticated.
I fully support regulations on exotic pets though. I don't think its unreasonable for people to prove they can care for a speical animal prior to getting it. And i dont think all wild animals can be kept as pets. I mean who really has room for elephants? Let alone the money to feed one!
The animals we all keep as pets now that have been domesticated (Guinea pigs, Dogs, Cats, ect) I think are ok to keep as pets, seeing as in the wild they have no chance anymore because of some of the traits that were bred into them, such as guinea pigs having colorful fur. In the wild, a herd of white/brown/black etc guinea pigs would be easily spotted and eaten within a second. So I feel that since we have taken away what the traits that they need to survive in the wild, it's our job to take care of them and to give them the best lives we can (Not shove them in glass cases, and breed them to the point of overpopulation) However animals that have not already been tainted by humans, should be left alone, such as tigers. Though I also think that we need to give them more land than we already have. With the growing population of humans, we are taking over what is rightfully theirs.
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