SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Dickerson Park Zoo is welcoming two new residents to the zoo, the largest rodent in the world, the Capybara.
Tracy Campbell, a Senior Zookeeper, says the male, Capy one-year-old, came from a zoo in Kansas, and the female, Tennille three-years-old, came from a zoo in Michigan.
Capybaras are native to Central and South America, according to the Zoo.
“They’re very aquatic, one of their big things they do is if they’re scared, they run straight into the water. Water is a safety mechanism for them,” says Campbell.
He says Capybaras have webbed front feet used for swimming. Both animals currently weigh around 80-90 pounds and can reach up to 120-150 pounds.
Once Capy is old enough, he and Tennille will be able to mate to create baby Capybara, the Zoo hopes love will keep them together.
The exhibit used was once home to the hippos and due to animal size differences, the exhibit is almost done with remodeling with hopes to open Labor Day weekend.
The hippo exhibit was once home to Henry the Hippo, who left Springfield and moved to Cincinnati, where he died a year later in 2017. Henry the Hippo is also the father of his famous daughter, Fiona.
The Dickerson Park Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.