Cleveland Metroparks Zoo welcomed the birth of three baby capybaras in The RainForest Friday night.
The new babies bring the Zoo's group of capybaras up to six including mom Shoya, dad Budha, and another adult female, Bonita. They can all be seen on exhibit together on the second floor of The RainForest.
Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world. They can grow up to 4.5 feet long and weigh up to 150 pounds. They are native to South America and can be found throughout most of the continent east of the Andes Mountains.
While their appearance and natural swimming abilities might suggest they are related to the beaver, the capybara's closest relatives in the animal kingdom are actually chinchillas and guinea pigs.
The Zoo breeds capybaras as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' Species Survival Program which are cooperative breeding and management groups for maintaining healthy and genetically viable zoo animal populations.
Northeast Ohio's most-visited year-round attraction, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $12.25 per person, $8.25 for kids ages 2 to 11 and free for children younger than 2 and Zoo members. Parking is free. Located at 3900 Wildlife Way, the Zoo is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 90 and 480.