The "Cavy" Bunch!
(Scroll down for SUPER CUTE photos and video!)
Maybe it’s their long legs…
Or their small rabbit/deer appearance…
But Patagonian cavies are RIDICULOUSLY CUTE!
And the Phoenix Zoo is home to seven of them!
There are two moms, an “older” youngster (born in July 2020) and four young pups born in early November of last year. Each mom had two offspring!
The Patagonian cavy, also known as a Patagonian mara, is a large species of rodent native to Argentina in South America. They have long rabbit-like ears that will help them detect approaching predators and if threatened can quickly run away, reaching speeds up to around 28 miles per hour!
Patagonian cavys are about the size of a small dog and have long rear legs similar to kangaroos. They are brown with a white underside and hindquarters marked with a white patch.
As far as personalities go, the cavies at the Zoo are typically relaxed… until they are not. The pups go from fully stretched out, basking in the sun to prancing about the habitat with the occasional jump-twist mixed in. They are also active diggers and their keepers have been having a lot of fun trying to keep up with filling in the holes they’ve made.
To focus their attention away from the normal dig spots, they recently dumped a large pile of sand in their habitat and it had the desired effect. They dug, slept on, and leapt to, from and around the pile until there was very little left.
Check them out along with our rheas on the Tropics Trail!