HOUSTON — The Houston Zoo is celebrating the birth of two capybara pups that recently made their public debut.
Bruno and Pepa, named after characters from the children’s film “Encanto," were born on April 11 to mom, Squirt, and dad, Rio. They spent the last few weeks bonding with mom behind the scenes.
Capybaras are from the same rodent family as guinea pigs but they're 50 times bigger. In fact, they're the world's largest rodents.
Capybaras are born with fur and a full set of teeth and grow quickly. Bruno and Pepa started eating solids the day after their birth.
Native to Central and South America, capybaras always live near bodies of water in the wild.
The pups are fast learners as they adopt a semi-aquatic lifestyle. Capybaras have webbed feet to help them swim and can stay underwater for up to five minutes.
Photos: Newborn capybara pups at Houston Zoo
"They can also press their ears against their heads to keep water out and once they exit the water, their thin coat of coarse hair dries quickly," the Zoo said.
Bruno and Pepa are already excellent swimmers. You can see them in action in the Zoo’s South America’s Pantanal exhibit, in the grasslands habitat.
This is the third capybara litter the Zoo has had in the past 10 years.
You can visit the Houston Zoo from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (the last entry is at 4 p.m.) seven days a week. Online reservations are required for non-members.
The Zoo is offering flex pricing through May 31, which includes 20% discounts for children and seniors.
Admission is free on the first Tuesday of each month.