The population of Saint-Cloud has just grown…
Mother Penelope and father PJ welcomed four baby capybaras on August 10. Hailing from Central and South America, the parents were brought to St. Cloud’s Amazing Animals Preserve from different facilities, and this is their seventh litter together.
Kylie Reynolds has been assistant director of Amazing Animals for nearly 11 years. She said the cubs are already well-adjusted to life on the reserve.
“Capybaras love meeting new people,” Reynolds said. “Even with the babies, people can come in, and Mum Penelope is super trusting of us and really likes having extra snacks.”
Amazing Animals Inc. Preserve is located on 2.5 acres and is home to over 40 species, right in Reynolds Garden. The reserve is open to the public through private tours which can be booked on their website: https://www.amazinganimalsinc.org/Bookaprivatetour.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, 100% of profits are dedicated to caring for the animals on the reserve.
Reynolds said capybaras start their day with a healthy breakfast of squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, among other green vegetables. Animals take naps while dog handlers clean up their exhibit, then guests are brought in for a one-on-one experience to feed them and just hang out.
The largest rodents in the world, native to South America, spend most of their time lounging in the pond and rolling around in the mud. On hot summer days, they install a sprinkler so the capybaras can stay cool and have fun in the sun.
Reynolds said once the babies are weaned at around six weeks, they’ll be ready to find their forever homes in other facilities.
“We really like working with Gatorland, they actually have two of our capybaras, Ben and Jerry,” Reynolds said. “It’s really great to work with other big facilities that have a bit of the same mission as us.”