Why I Would NOT Want to Be A Cute Animal, Especially A Cute Capybara

If I Was a Capybara:

I would not want to be dressed in uncomfortable and demeaning clothes. Most animals, including capybaras, hate wearing clothes. Capybaras are so beautiful why would anyone want to cover any part of a capybara’s body.


This is the perfect enclosure for a capybara: lots of grass and a large pond. Photo by Martin MurmelTier Hees

I would not want to have to earn my keep in a Capybara Cafe. It is a basic tenet of Animal Welfare that animals in captivity must be allowed to express their natural behaviours. For a capybara this means living in a habitat with unlimited access to grazing and a large pond or pool and a natural habitat with access to sun. A famous capybara lived inside the house and, therefore, did not get the sun his bones needed and his bones degenerated. His vet advised that he be put down to avoid further suffering.

Nobody who understands animals would want to see a capybara in a cafe.

It causes me great unhappiness that most people are not at all interested in me, my relationships with other capybaras, my personality and character. They just like my cuteness and only want to see cute photos of nameless capybaras. They do not want to learn about my species and the typical behaviours of my species

Most people who pretend to like us only want to watch very short videos of capybaras behaving cutely or exhibiting attention grabbing behaviour. They do not want to see slightly longer videos which show the normal range of my behaviour, how I behave with other capybaras and my relationships with other capybaras. Most people who pretend to love animals seem to have a very short attention span. My normal behaviour includes stopping to think or listen before continuing to act. Even a few seconds of inaction, on my part, results in these people becoming bored. The last thing they want to watch is a video where they might learn something about me or about capybaras in general.

Capybaras do not like to wear clothes. Dressing a pet capybara causes stress and interferes with the bond between the capybara and the human, as the capybara cannot understand why the human is doing this to him

Capybaras do not like to wear clothes. Dressing a pet capybara causes stress and interferes with the bond between the capybara and the human, as the capybara cannot understand why the human is doing this to him

I would not want to live in a zoo where I was imprisoned in a small, concrete floored enclosure with no grass and a tiny tub of water into which I could barely fit. Even a cattle trough would not allow me to swim and play and exhibit my full range of aquatic behaviours, which I so enjoy doing.

In Japan many people find that petting us relieves their stress, even though endless petting often causes us great stress. Because we are so useful as a source of stress relief there are many, many tiny zoos in totally inappropriate places like shopping malls (there are even 2 lions living in a small enclosure in a shopping mall in Japan!), or right next to noisy, polluted main roads.

I had incontrovertible proof today, if proof was needed, that many people in a Facebook capybara group do not care about capybaras when someone in this group asked what capybaras taste like and the moderator of this group thought this question and the concept it brought to mind were perfectly acceptable! Nobody who loves an animal would ever want to know what they tasted like. The very thought of capybaras being eaten brings tears to the eyes of anyone who loves these exceptional animals. People who really love animals would no more consider it acceptable to discuss eating an animal they loved than the husband they loved (or wife).

I realise that most people do not understand animals and cannot see things from an animal’s perspective. Therefore they do not understand what I am saying here.

I wish everyone who claims to like capybaras really loved us and cared about our emotional and physical well-being.

There is a link between the promotion of animals as “cute” and the trade in wild animals. Animals do not benefit in either case. In both cases animals suffer. Most people who are drawn to animals because of their cuteness do not understand animals and have no interest in these animals as sentient beings, individuals with their own unique personalities whose lives are important to them and to the people who love them.

Where Can I Meet a Capybara in New Zealand

There are 3 zoos in New Zealand which have capybaras, see below.

You might find these videos useful: the first video shows you how to pet a capybara. Not the way you would pet a dog!

Capybara Erogenous Zones Where Capybaras like to Be Petted:

Watch What Happens When Baby Capybara Is Petted:

NZ blog CWF B Cookie 17 Sep 2014 019

Wellington Zoo.

Address: 200 Daniell Street, Newtown, Wellington 6021

Tel: 04 381 6755

Capybara Close Encounter details:


“A Close Encounter at Wellington Zoo is more than just meeting an amazing animal close-up. You’re joined by a Zoo Keeper who works with the animals you are meeting. They will introduce you to your encounter animals and answer any of your questions about them, and about Capybaras in the wild and why they’re important. They’ll also happily take a photo of you inside the Capybara Habitat, so don’t forget your camera!”

Age: 6 years old and up. If you’re between 6 and 13 years, you’ll need to have someone 14 years or over (booked and paid) with you on the Close Encounter.  

Time: 1.00pm every day. Participants must arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of their scheduled encounter time.

Cost: $99 per person including Zoo entry.

10% discount for all Zoo Crew members. 

Participants: Maximum of 4 people per encounter. Enclosed shoes must be worn. 

Duration: 30 minutes

Bookings: Please book in advance.

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Christchurch

Willowbank will be introducing an animal encounter with capybaras, but the date has not yet been finalised. You can follow them on Facebook, or check their website to see when you will be able to meet their capybaras.

60 Hussey Road, Northwood, Christchurch 8051

Phone 03 359 6226

Auckland Zoo

Auckland zoo has capybaras and usually offers a behind-the-scenes encounter, and the opportunity to be a junior zookeeper. However, at the moment these experiences are not available due to Covid 19. The zoo hopes to be able to offer these animal experiences later in 2021.

Tel: (09) 360 3805

Address: Motions Rd, Auckland 1022