Tuff’n, The Cutest Baby Capybara in The World. Part One.

Tuff'n should be on the cover of Vogue magazine. He is so beautiful and has such a seductive look.

Tuff’n should be on the cover of Vogue magazine. He is so beautiful and has such a seductive look.

Tuff’n is the most  hedonistic and pleasure loving capybara I’ve ever met. Where Romeo is emotional, responsible and intellectual, and of course captivating, Tuff’n is straightforward and pleasure loving. He usually comes when called, most unusual in a capybara, because he assumes you are going to pamper him. Often all you have to do is hold your hand out and he comes running. A gentle touch on his bottom and he rolls over, his little legs wriggling with anticipation, ready to be pampered. He is a pure bundle of joy!

It goes without saying that Tuff’n and Romeo are very affectionate.

Sometime shortly after birth and before his breeder arrived on the scene Tuff’n suffered a horrific accident.   A deep cut ran along the right side of his little body starting by his eye.  He has lost the sight in that eye. His ear flap had been torn off but his hearing is fine, and the mechanism by which he closes his ear when he goes underwater is intact. However from day one he was eating and playing as though nothing had happened. He’s a very plucky, intelligent, mischievous little capybara.

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Where Marvin has had to teach Romeo and overcome a language barrier, relying on Romeo’s intelligence to understand English, Romeo has been able to teach Tuff’n everything he knows using their common language. Some things Tuff’n has learnt better as Romeo may be a better teacher than Marvin.

For example, before Romeo and Tuff’n are allowed in the pool they have to ‘go potty’. Tuff’n usually immediately goes to the potty room and performs. When I go to the bathroom Tuff’n very often joins me. Sometimes Romeo waits for Tuff’n to finish as if he wants the potty room all to himself, but Tuff’n usually goes back in and sits on the carpet to give him moral support.

Tuff'n should be on the cover of Vogue magazine. He is so beautiful and has such a seductive look.

Tuff’n should be on the cover of Vogue magazine. He is so beautiful and has such a seductive look.

The relationship between Romeo and Tuff’n seems very similar to that between an older and younger brother. There is no doubt that Romeo loves Tuff’n and cares about him. If Tuff’n cannot see Romeo he becomes worried and calls for him. Tuff’n emits frequent long shrill cries, after a while Romeo responds with a series, a very short series, of two short calls repeated. On one occasion Romeo was a little dilatory in his response. Even though Romeo was just around the corner in the garden Tuff’n panicked and emitted his ultra anxious squawky call. Romeo came running concerned about little Tuff’n.

As he gets older he becomes more independent.

In this video Tuff’n is sitting on Elizabeth’s chest kissing her, with Romeo snuggled up beside her.   I love the look of resignation on Romeo’s face as Tuff’n hogs the limelight and gets all the attention.  Elizabeth and Marvin talk about Tuff’n’s horrific injuries, nobody knows what happened at his birth or shortly after he was born.

 

This is Poor Little Tuff'n, Aged Just Three Weeks Old, when he first arrived at Elizabeth and Marvin's home. You can see the extent of the horrific injuries he mysteriously suffered. Amazingly, He Showed No Sign of Pain and Was the Joyous, Happy Little Capybara That He Is Now.

This is Poor Little Tuff’n, Aged Just Three Weeks Old, when he first arrived at Elizabeth and Marvin’s home. You can see the extent of the horrific injuries he mysteriously suffered. Amazingly, He Showed No Sign of Pain and Was the Joyous, Happy Little Capybara That He Is Now.

One day, when Tuff’n was only three months old, the number one in the capybara hierarchy (Marvin) was a little late with the capybara’s morning walk due to a telephone call. The capybaras waited patiently near the front door, with their noses pointed AT the front door to remind Marvin of what they should be doing.  As the telephone conversation wore on, little baby Tuff’n decided Marvin needed further encouragement. He went over to his leash and dragged it back to Marvin.   Obviously he didn’t think much of human intelligence!  And felt the need to drop a big hint as to what the capybara’s expectations were.

Romeo and Tuff'n

Romeo and Tuff’n

One unusual experience I have had with Tuff’n happened when he was about three months old.  Little Tuff’n was lying on my chest having a morning nap when he began eating his cecotropes. This took place over the course of an hour, with Tuff’n taking a small amount on about 10 occasions. From the 3rd occasion onwards I could hear him chewing the cecotropes for some time afterwards. The cecotropes sounded quite gravelly and gritty. His ‘sphincter’ did not close quite as tightly as an older capybara so a little bit oozed out on my dress.  Towards the end he sneezed, showering me with minute pieces of cecotropes! It was a memorable experience.

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Tuff’n is the most vocal capybara I have ever met, by far. Some days he sings all day, making his ‘happy sound’ as he wanders round the house, when he eats and even when he poohs!  He is an absolute hedonist and loves to be pampered all day long or to laze around in the sun, all day. He has a very loud, deep voice, even though he is still just a baby. Sometimes his happy call is interspersed with a shrill call to let Romeo know where he is, as in this video.

 

Marvin holding Tuff'n

Marvin holding Tuff’n

Sometimes Tuff’n follows Romeo into the bedroom at a distance.   On several occasions after arriving in the room he became confused because he was certain Romeo had come in, but there was no sign of him. Tuff’n then jumped on the bed and noticed a lump under the bed covers. He goes over to explore the lump. Having satisfied himself that the lump is indeed Romeo, he lies down beside it, snuggling up as close as possible to ‘his friend’.   The lump will inevitably move, as if it is trying to get away from Tuff’n.

Tuff’n has whiskers that seem extra long, perhaps to make up for the fact he only has one eye. When he wants to wake Marvin or Elizabeth up in the morning, he comes over to their head and gently rubs his whiskers up and down against their cheek until they wake up!

Romeo is being pampered and little Tuff'n wants to be petted as well. So he comes over and gives Romeo a little nip, or was it a love bite? Romeo is at the least 5 times Tuff'n's size, and as strong as I am, so you can see how brave (or foolish!) Little Tuff'n is

Romeo is being pampered and little Tuff’n wants to be petted as well. So he comes over and gives Romeo a little nip, or was it a love bite? Romeo is at the least 5 times Tuff’n’s size, and as strong as I am, so you can see how brave (or foolish!) Little Tuff’n is

When I pamper a capybara I always try to find the spot on their body where pampering gives them the most pleasure. In Tuff’n’s case, he loves being rubbed under his chin. But I discovered that the spot which sends him into a state of ecstasy was at the top of his hind legs where there is a little bump. I presumed this bump was his bottom. Shortly after my discovery Marvin told me that Elizabeth had noticed that his testes were beginning to grow. So I had been gently caressing his testicles and he absolutely loved it!

When Tuff’n joins Romeo he usually positions himself so that he is looking in the opposite direction, no doubt a very useful adaptive feature for capybaras living in the wild, and needing to keep a lookout for dangerous predators.

In this video, Poor little Tuff’n falls in the icy cold wintery swimming pool and calls out plaintively:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_OqRNGv4r0

When Elizabeth gets home from work the first thing she does is lie on the beanbag and wait for her two capybaras to rush over and be cuddled. Romeo usually gets there first and snuggles up against Elizabeth with his head over her arm. When Tuff’n arrives he likes to position himself between Romeo and Elizabeth in order to get more attention than Romeo does. Sometimes he even tries to push Romeo away with his cute little legs! None of this is appreciated by Romeo and a resigned look comes over his face.

Tuff'n's Parents at Kapi'yva Exotics:  Yogi is on the left, Remo Tuff'n's mother is on the right. (You can just see Shorty's nose poking in on the extreme right right. Shorty is Collett's mother).   Tuff'n's breeder said "Yogi and Remo both like to be scratched but don't trust many people enough to let them do it. They have gotten brave enough to take treats from people but will usually only let me or Brandi scratch them."

Tuff’n’s Parents at Kapi’yva Exotics: Yogi is on the left, Remo Tuff’n’s mother is on the right. (You can just see Shorty’s nose poking in on the extreme right right. Shorty is Collett’s mother). Tuff’n’s breeder said “Yogi and Remo both like to be scratched but don’t trust many people enough to let them do it. They have gotten brave enough to take treats from people but will usually only let me or Brandi scratch them.”

Tuff’n was born 15 November 2012.   His parents are Yogi and Remo.   He was born at Kapi’yva Exotics at Pearland just outside Houston, Texas.

Tuff’n’s Eye:

Little Tuff'n, Aged Three Weeks, When He First Arrived at Elizabeth and Marvin's Loving Home.

Little Tuff’n, Aged Three Weeks, When He First Arrived at Elizabeth and Marvin’s Loving Home.

When Dr Michael Brinkman (Vet Speciality Services – Ophthalmology) inspected Tuff’n’s eye, when he was approximately 3 months old, his conclusion was that it showed 100% signs of healing, he was not able to see normally but might be able to distinguish light and dark, with some shadowy vision. His upper eyelid (capybaras do not have eyelashes on their lower eyelid) had been damaged when he suffered his horrendous injury, and part of it had been torn away. This has resulted in some of the eyelashes pointing downwards and irritating his cornea. This problem can be dealt with by regularly trimming these lashes.

A Very Young Tuff'n, Showing His Injuries. Photograph by his breeder Kapi'yva Exotics

A Very Young Tuff’n, Showing His Injuries. Photograph by his breeder Kapi’yva Exotics

Just to show how intelligent Tuff’n is: when Elizabeth was trimming the upper eyelashes (with special scissors) that were beginning to poke into Tuff’n’s eye and cause him some distress, Tuff’n at first tried to resist her endeavours. However, when he realised that his eye was beginning to feel much better, he held his head completely still so that she could finish the task with  ease.

The injury resulted in the corneal surface of the eye being lacerated and perforated. Fluid from the eye oozed out, and the iris plugged this hole. Due to the loss of fluid this eye is smaller, with the scarred cornea in the centre.

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2 thoughts on “Tuff’n, The Cutest Baby Capybara in The World. Part One.

  1. Liz, this is stunning – I was so glad – yet sad, too – to learn all about this hedonistic, resilient, adorable little capybara. (I will sign up for wordpress so I can type comments directly into the website! slothfully yours, Jennah

    Like

    • Jennah, you can’t imagine how happy your comment made me feel. Coming from someone with your writing talent, and your brilliant use of language, I take it as the greatest compliment. Thank you very much, Liz

      Like

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