Written by A Couple Who Have Lived With 2 Pet Capybaras for 8 Years
By Marvin Reeder and Elizabeth Ojeda Reeder
It has been my observation that Capybaras will rest facing in different directions. They do this in order to be alerted to the first sight of room service delivering their breakfast, or any treats that may be arriving.
Capybaras are much more intelligent than most people realise. The ability to conceptualise is considered a sign of high intelligence. Many people cannot conceptualise, but Tuff’n can! Watch him as he solves his problem
Capybara are very sensitive animals and can be highly adaptable to many different environments. They are also highly intelligent and prefer the comforts of climate control, noise deadening windows, soft cushions to rest on, a comfortable warm bed with a heated blanket and other luxurious and plush surroundings.
Among the things capybaras need and expect: permanent access to a warm bath and swimming pool, their drinking water to be heated slightly, a full-time masseur, grass and mud.
Romeo and Tuff’n have their own personal vet. She comes to their home, so that they don’t have to do go through the terrifying experience of visiting a public animal hospital. If they require an operation she can anaesthetise them, safely, on the sofa. Romeo is terrified of any building which reminds him of the animal hospital. Taking a capybara to the vet is not only very stressful for the capybara, but can also present many logistical problems. Elizabeth’s sister is a vet and she has created a permanently available prescription for antibiotics in case Romeo or Tuff’n develop an infection, so that they do not have to wait even an extra hour for treatment. Many pet capybaras die because their owners put off seeking treatment due to the cost of visiting a vet who specialises in exotic animals.
Interestingly, not all capybaras require a limousine. Romeo likes to monitor the chauffeur, standing with his front legs on the console, which has been specially padded and carpeted, and whispering instructions into the chauffeur’s ear from time to time, or nibbling his ear. In a limousine Romeo is prevented from having any direct access to the chauffeur by a glass partition. Capybaras may prefer a former racing driver to be their chauffeur; someone who can react quickly to avoid danger.
Tuff’n has watched the humans relaxing on li–lo’s in the pool and wants the same experience. He drags his cushion to the side of the pool, jumps in the pool, pulls the cushion in, and relaxes floating:
Capybaras are exceptionally sensitive emotionally. More so than most humans. They are very aware of the moods of the people around them and can be easily upset. As wild animals their reactions may be instinctive, having evolved over millions of years to protect them from dangers. As a human you may have no idea what you have done to upset them, and why they have suddenly attacked you, with their very sharp teeth.
Capybara teeth are so sharp that the Amerindians of South America used the teeth as a spear point.
Like all rodents, capybaras hate to be controlled. In this, they are the complete opposite of dogs and horses. If you try to control a capybara you will destroy the relationship and the capybara’s trust.
I have been observing and photographing this pair of wild capybara in their unnatural environment for about eight years. It has been my observation that they can be highly manipulative and cunning animals, able to control the minds of others.
I believe that if there were a greater number of capybaras in the world, in time they would become the dominant species and all humans would be subservient to them.
Marvin’s verdict: Please don’t keep a capybara as a pet: the capybara will suffer.
Photos by Marvin Reeder and Elizabeth Ojeda Reeder