Capybaras Are Back Cute-ing Up Santa Barbara Zoo

Squeal: The "world's largest rodents" have returned to the animal park.

SB Zoo Capybara 3
Santa Barbara Zoo

CATS, SLOTHS, LLAMAS? They've all had their major moments as internet superstars, and rightly so. After all, the squee-inducing factor is incredibly high for these fabulous furry critters, and koalas and puppies, too, and every other non-human earthling that has found itself as the adorable star of countless online videos. But no list of popular internet animal wonders would be complete without including the capybara, a four-legged, piggy (but not a pig) snugglebug that has found its own fervent fandom in recent years. Well, true: We did call the capybara a "snugglebug" just a sentence ago, because they're beyond cute, and few would quibble with that statement. But snuggling them? We can only dream of doing so, from afar, or rather not so afar, now that a pair of "the world's largest rodents" have trotted into the...

SANTA BARBARA ZOO: It's big news for the animal park, which hasn't featured a capybara, which is native to South America, for four years. "Capybaras are favorites of our guests, who have been clamoring for their return," says a zoo representative. The two new capy cuties made their delightful debuts on Friday, June 7 in the area near the zoo's train station (indeed, that's where you'll also find a trio of female giant anteaters, though, for now, a "temporary fence" separates the capybara contingent and the anteater group, while they get to know each other better). The capybaras are also female, and they'll be marking their first birthday this August. Where did these sweethearts hail from? Greater Vancouver Zoo, where "... they were hand-raised after their mother passed away."

PERSONALITIES? Mammal keeper Melanie Story says that the two young'uns are already exhibiting plenty of distinctive character, even a couple of months shy of their first birthdays. What furry fun it'll be for cabybara buffs to watch this winsome duo grow in the years ahead, at their new home at the Santa Barbara Zoo. How to view these rockin' rodents? Your zoo admission is all that's required.

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