Capybara - An intro, and a warning

Internet and Youtube darlings.

Cutest faces ever.

Shiny luxurious pelts.

Glorious rumps.

Mostly seen in the company of their own kind, and exhibit stress when separated from bonded herd.

Sometimes chased by feral dogs.

The Kardashians? Well yes, but also the Capybaras.

Who’s taking over reality TV, internet channels and social media? That’s right: move over Kim, Chloe and all the K-rest of you. If Capybaras had bank accounts, they’d be well on their way to being filthy rich, thanks to ingenious marketing campaigns based on their surging on-line popularity.

Now that you’ve learned a little about the fabulous Capybaras, here are some more fun facts (and the Kardashians).

Capybaras enjoy swimming (as the Kardashians must, since they are so often photographed in bikinis.)

Capybaras typically live in groups of multiple females and one male. (Do I even need to say it? OK, I will. In the Kardashian herd, the male is Rob.)

Capybaras produce star-shaped footprints. (Are you kidding me? Do the Kardashians know this?)

Since you likely already know all of the pertinent details about the Kardashians, let me fill you in about Capybaras.

The capybara, officially known as Hydrochoerus Hydrochaeris, is native to South America and despite its undeniable cuteness, it is, in fact, the world’s largest rodent. You would thing that would make them terrifying, but the opposite is true. They’re freaking adorable. Simply irresistible.

According to the San Diego Zoo (http://library.sandiegozoo.org/factsheets/capybara/capybara.htm), they’ve been around for at least nine million years, starting in Argentina and eventually shambling and scuttling their way up to the southern United States.

Adult males typically weigh just over 100 pounds and stand about two feet high. Females are a bit smaller, but still, you do the math – that’s no supermodel.

They like to sleep: near the water in the morning; and then in the water for the rest of the day. They like to eat grass. They are great swimmers. Their day basically consists of hanging out by the water; eating the grass; and then floating around in the water (some would call it ‘wallowing’).

And here’s a crazy one: they are rumored to be approved by the Catholic Church as a substitute for fish, because they are ‘semi-aquatic’.

But perhaps the most important similarity between Capybaras and the Kardashians is this:

Based on your reality TV, internet viewing and social media feeds, you are probably thinking “Golleee, it sure would be fun to invite one of those Kardashians/Capybaras to my next pool party, or even get one to fall in love with me and come and live in my house.

But here’s the thing. This is an EXOTIC ANIMAL with extreme and unusual emotional and physical needs. If you bring it home to suburban America and expect it to fit into your lifestyle, you will crush its spirit. Its cute face will get wrinkly, its pelt will become dull; its rump will sag. It may show signs of aggression, such as rump biting, or it may increase its likelihood to poop where it sleeps.

Remember how they like to eat grass? Sounds easy, right. Well, that’s like saying the Kardashians like to shop. Maybe your Capybara could mow the lawn for you like goats do. Well, they like grass so much they’d like three to four kilograms of it a day. Haven’t got that much on hand? Expecting to feed a Capybara from your front lawn is like giving a Kardashian a $100 a week clothing allowance. No-one wants to see a skinny Capybara, or a poorly-dressed Kardashian

Remember how they like to hang with their own kind? In fact, they really, really have to. Keeping one Capybara is considered quite cruel by many animal experts (http://capybarafacts.com/capybara-as-pets/).

They say that unless the human companion will be there 24/7, then the Capybara will be incredibly lonely. Unlike dogs, who have been domesticated for tens of thousands of years and have adapted to our ways, Capybaras are just not that into us. They want a friend, or better yet two, or better still 40, and they want them all to be Capybaras too. So, with a herd of Capybaras, how much grass do you need now?

Understandably, regrettably, you will grow tired of your new friend. Face it, you know this can’t end well. Reality TV, the internet and social media were made for the likes of Kardashians and Capybaras. Enjoy them from afar, in their natural habitat. Send them your virtual love and be enveloped by their general on-line awesomeness.

Become a fan. Follow them on Twitter; like them on Facebook; lie and tell people you’ve met one, or they’ve even been over to your house. But, in actual reality, AKA the real world? Leave them alone. We’ll all be better for it.