Stacy’s Funny Farm and The Pipsqueakery are non-profit animal rescue organizations that work with rodents. While we are miles apart in distance, our goals overlap and so we often find ourselves chatting about rescues and capybaras. One day Alex showed me an advertisement that was haunting her.
“10 year old male capybara. Has been used in our petting zoo. Skittish but will eat from your hand.”
Now it was haunting me. The sale price was what you would pay for a brand new baby capybara. One with ten years ahead of it, not behind it. Nobody sane would buy this old guy. If he was no longer any use to the petting zoo, chances are he would live out his days in a barn somewhere. Alex and I are insane, so we decided to buy him and find a rescue that would take him. I agreed to raise the funds if Alex would arrange the transportation and tell me how much money we would need to do the deed.
The fundraiser went okay, money slowly dribbling in through Facebook and PayPal. Then a benevolent soul, a true Friend of Capybaras, stepped up and put us over the top! The fundraiser hadn’t ended yet, but I contacted Alex and she contacted the shipper and he contacted the driver and we set up the transfer for Saturday, January 8, 2022.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I had contacted Melanie Typaldos, the President of the ROUS Foundation for Capybara Veterinary Medicine. She agreed to take in our old capybara. Her previous rescue capybara lived in her house, but we thought it was fairly unlikely that this petting zoo retiree would be amenable to indoor living. Fingers crossed for a few more donations, we decided buy a Capyhouse for him.
Doghouses don’t work for capybaras because they are so inflexible. Unlike dogs that can go in and turn around, capybaras are built like warthogs and have to back in or back out, but they cannot turn around. So we picked out a nice playhouse styled sort of like a little barn. Melanie ordered it, cobbed together a little foundation, and had it set up for his weekend arrival.
It is a very long drive from Alabama to Texas, but our driver decided to do it in one day. Starting with an early morning pickup, the driver sent photos of his close encounter with a ROUS along the way. He arrived at our Texas destination after dark but before bedtime.
So how is the old capybara doing? He’s calm, he’s hungry (always a good sign,) and he loves his playhouse!
He’s a fussy eater, so he’s a typical capybara. They are all extremely picky and so far he eats squash, melons, and apples, but not carrots or potatoes. Whatever. He eats hay and he has even eaten corn-on-the-cob from Melanie’s hand.
The January weather is a bit cool for the wading pool, but wait until he sees the swimming pool! He’s got horses and cats, wide open spaces, and one of the most knowledgeable capybara owners around. She knows how to spoil them! Funny thing is, now that she’s taken a good look at him, she thinks PandaBara is a girl! What do you think?
Look at the photos and put on your thinking cap. Why do we think he’s a she? We’d love to hear what you think! There is a form below to encourage comments!