What States Can You Own A Capybara In The US? (2023)

Where Is It Legal To Own A Capybara Pet In The US?

Before you make the choice of adopting a Capybara as a pet in your home, ensure you put what this article entails into consideration. While these animals are regarded as “extraordinary animals,” there are several restrictions placed on keeping a Capybara at home as a pet.

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Let’s touch a little about this animal, the Capybara:

Capybara is the largest rodent in the world, and also, it’s a semiaquatic mammal. You can find capybaras along the edge of the water throughout the regions of Central America and South America. Owing to where this animal, capybara, is found — they are not exposed to danger. In some areas, a few of them are hunted for leather and meat hence the decline in their population.

In This Video You Will Come To Know That Capybaras Can Be Domesticated

In addition, capybaras — labeled as social creatures — have partially webbed eyes and feet. Not just do they have such eyes and feet, they also — on the top of their heads — have webbed nostrils and ears. This makes them comfortably survive in their wetland habitat.

Now, the question is: Where Is It Legal To Own A Capybara Pet In The US?

You might be among the people asking, “Where Is It Legal To Own A Capybara Pet In US?” — if you haven’t found an answer yet, here’s one. In a few locations, it’s unarguably illegal to keep capybaras as pets. In the city of Pennsylvania and Texas, keeping a capybara is welcomed — unlike several other locations where one must consult one’s local legislation in order to see if a special permit would be needed.

Aside from the legal formalities, don’t hesitate to get the necessary information as regards keeping a capybara — before adopting the pet, the capybara. Considering the fact that capybaras are not accepted in some countries, let’s look at their behavior.

Are Capybaras Legal To Own In The Us Considering There Lifestyle?

Just as we’ve stayed in some of our previous articles, capybaras are known to be very social animals. Again, capybaras exhibit their social life in the midst of a group hence their love for moving in a group. It’s not recommended for you to adopt just a single capybara.

Ensure that you adopt at least two, but it’d be more preferable to adopt more than two. Some American capybara may weigh a minimum of 145 pounds and maybe up to 1.25 meters (4 feet) long. There are capybaras known as Panamanian capybaras — these capybaras are way smaller and in terms of weight, they weigh about 27kg.

Furthermore, this animal capybara — a brownish rodent — possesses short-hairs. Speaking of short hairs, they also have short “everything,” small ears, short legs, blunt snouts, and almost an absence of a tail. While they hang out along the banks of rivers and lakes, they portray shyness in the face of loneliness. That’s why they move into a group.

REVIEWED: Why Are Capybaras So Friendly?

(Video) It’s the Invasion of the Capybaras!

Usually, they feed in the morning and evening and spent almost all the 24 hours in a day resting under cover along the banks. Also, one can say that capybaras are vegetarians. One con of having capybara as a pet is if you reside around a cultivated area, they’re likely to act as pests by eating squash, grain, and melons.

What States Can You Own A Capybara In The US?

In states such as Georgia and California, capybaras are banned as pets. Speaking of the state you can freely and comfortably own a capybara, it’s legal to adopt a capybara in New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. As for some regions, you need a certificate or permit to have this animal in your possession. Let’s see the reason why capybaras are illegal in the city of California.

Why Are Capybaras Illegal In California?

The reason an animal such as capybara is illegal in California is, they are wild animals. Not just
that, if they’re exposed to the wild, they could harm crops or native wildlife. Have it in mind that the capybara is a semi-aquatic animal, so if you desire to adopt a capybara, you must create a little pond in which the capybara can easily swim.

In Canada, each province — for the animal, capybara — has its own different rules and regulations. Many pets that are illegal in California are legal in other states.

Are Capybaras Legal To Own In Florida?

Capybaras are legal in some parts of the United States and Florida. When it comes to owning exotic pets laws, Florida is regarded as an unusual state. The regulations in Florida involve good and bad aspects. You might require a permit to own a capybara in Florida.

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9 Facts You Should Know About Capybaras

1. They Are Huge Guinea Pigs: Capybaras can go beyond 65kg in weight, 1.5 meters in length, and 60 centimeters in height to withers. Regardless of their large dimensions, they made their way to “the largest rodents in the world” amidst their closest relatives which include:
• Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus)
• Rocky Carvies (Kerodon rupestris)
• Agoutis (Dasyproctidae Bonaparte)
• Chinchillas (Chinchilla)

2. They Are Semi-Aquatic Mammals: Capybaras can be found in habitats with ponds, swamps, rivers, and lakes. The presence of those makes a habitat favorable for capybaras. They spend almost all their time relaxing or eating grasses and aquatic plants. They have the capacity to consume up to 8kg every single day.

What States Can You Own A Capybara In The US? (1)

Group Of Capybaras Cooling Off At The River Bank

Capybaras are known for their swimming abilities. The reason they can easily swim is because of their webbed paws. Since the upper part of their head is where their eyes, ears, and naris are located, keeping their body underwater is an easy thing for them to do. Capybaras can retain their position underwater for about 5 minutes — hiding from predators such as ocelots, pumas, and jaguars.

3. Their Teeth Never Stop Growing: Just like other rodents, Capybaras have up to two robust and long incisors — which they use to reach for aquatic plants, sugar cane, tubers, and barks. Surprisingly, their teeth can grow to over 8 centimeters and they don’t stop growing. Their teeth grow to fix whatever the constant use causes. Their molars grow incessantly throughout the years of their lives, but they wear down owing to the capybaras’ constant grinding.

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4. They Can Be Domestic Animals: Because of the gentle behavior of capybaras, people forget the fact that they’re wild animals and adopt them as pets. Fortunately, Italy brought a stop to the possession of capybaras by privates in the year, 1996.

LEARN: How To House Train A Capybara (8 Mandatory Requirements)

5. They Live In Groups: Capybaras are very social animals that love to walk and live in groups of about 10 to as many as 30 individuals. The groups are known for their stability and they work hand-in-hand — together — in order to defend their habitat. The females come together to raise their babies. Young capybaras get their nursing from several different females, moms. It’s clear that the herd keeps a watchful eye on those young capybaras — considering how susceptible they are to predators.
6. They Have Unique Vocalizations: When it comes to communication, capybaras communicate effectively with the members of their groups. The several sounds they make are distinctively unique — sounds to signal a move, indicate
warning, and be in the know of the location of their younger ones.

What States Can You Own A Capybara In The US? (2)

Loved Up Photo of Cute Capybara With Her Owner. Check out the bond and relationship, so beautiful.

The sounds they make include whining, crying, clicking, barking, whistling, squealing, and teeth-chattering. Each of the sounds listed is unique to a specific meaning and is completely different from their individual social group. The younger ones of a capybara are most vocal. They emit sounds almost all the time.

7. They Eat Plants: Capybaras are classified under the vegetarian mammal species. These herbivores — capybaras
— feed normally on aquatic plants, bark, fruits, and grasses. They feed according to the season [they eat a lot]. When it’s dry season, they add squash, melon, grains, and seeds to their diet. In order for capybaras to avoid predators, they prefer to either eat at dawn or dusk.

See The Fruits Capybaras Eat This Video Will Show You Capybaras Eating Different Fruits

8. They Eat Their Own Poop: Capybaras are animals among the autocoprophagous family — animals that eat their own excrete. They practice this every morning, and this provides them with the needed bacteria — bacteria flora, important for proper digestion. Normally, it’s difficult for the grasses they eat to digest, so eating their own poop creates a process that allows their body to absorb the fibrous meal eaten the previous day.

QUICK GUIDE: Complete Beginner’s Guide To Grooming A Capybara As Pet

9. They’re A Great Place To Sit: Sometimes, people refer to the name “nature’s ottoman.” Capybaras have, over the years, been a reputable animal as regards being an amazing spot to take a load off. There’s a mutual relationship between capybaras and birds that feed on insects from the back of rodents — birds such as the yellow-headed caracara. The capybaras benefit immensely because these birds get rid of bugs.

The next time someone asks you, “Where Is It Legal To Own A Capybara Pet In US? — you can
refer to this article for a proper and we’ll detailed answer. We also outlined almost 9 facts about
capybaras — facts that can assist in your dealings with them.

(Video) Should You Keep a Capybara as Pet?

It’s legal in states like Texas, Pennsylvania, and New York to own a capybara, and in States like
California and Georgia, it’s illegal.

Do you have any questions after reading this post? kindly ask using the comment section below and we will fastly attend to it. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share this with someone.


Where can you own capybaras in the US? ›

In some states, they are legal but require licenses. Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, Washington and North Carolina are states where you can likely own a pet capybara. They are illegal to own in California and Georgia.

Can a capybara live in the US? ›

The capybara is native to South America and prefers to live around marshy areas where it can swim and consume native grasses and other plants. It might have been introduced to Florida through the exotic pet trade, but the species is now breeding and thriving throughout the state.

Are capybaras legal in Florida? ›

The State of Florida lists Capybaras as Class III wildlife. This means that a permit is not currently required to possess capybaras as personal pets. However, the state does require a license/ permit for exhibition and sale.

Can I own a capybara in Oregon? ›

Possession of exotic animals is prohibited in Oregon with the following exceptions: The owner is licensed through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The owner has a valid Oregon exotic animal permit obtained prior to 2010. No new permits may be issued.

How much does 1 capybara cost? ›

Purchasing Your Capybara

Ideally, try to buy a capybara from a reputable breeder. The cost of these creatures runs about $1,000 to $3,000. Females are usually more expensive.

Is it cruel to own a capybara? ›

The capybara can make a good pet, but they do need their own enclosure, which will be substantial in size and will contain a deep pool for them to swim in and to hydrate their skin. This giant rodent enjoys cuddles, can be domesticated, and enjoys the company of people, other capybaras, and will cuddle other animals.

Is a capybara a good pet? ›

Capybaras enjoy being petted and cuddled, making them good pets. Capybaras make good pets because they are friendly wild animals, enjoy being petted, and are relatively easy to care for in the right conditions. In addition, most pet capybaras love being cuddled by their favorite humans.

Do capybaras bite? ›

Although generally shy and docile, capybaras are strong and capable of inflicting bites with serious consequences. Proper wound care, careful examination of structures, tetanus immunization, rabies prevention, appropriate antibiotics, and follow-up form part of the proper management of victims of capybara attacks.

Do any zoos in the US have capybaras? ›

Capybara - Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park | Zoo | Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Why are capybaras so chill? ›

Capybaras are a species of rodent that live in South America. They are known for their calm and gentle nature. This is likely due to the fact that capybara are very slow-moving and have a low metabolism. They are also very resistant to cold temperatures.

Do crocodiles eat capybaras? ›

Capybara and Crocodile

Crocodiles are fierce predators that share the same waters in South America with the capybaras! They know each other fairly well! Yet, crocodiles refuse to eat capybaras, they get along very well in the same waters!

What is the lifespan of a capybara? ›

Even though there average life expectancy is 8-10 years, they mostly survive only up to 4 years in nature due to natural predators such as eagles, pumas, jaguars and anacondas. In some regions, capybaras are hunted by humans for their meat.

What pets are legal in Virginia? ›

Domestic animals do not require a permit in Virginia but non-native, exotic animals do. Coyotes, foxes, skunks, hyenas, prairie dogs, alligators, crocodiles, wild cats, and many other animals require a permit to be kept as pets.

What exotic pets are legal in Tennessee? ›

Yes, that's right – Ostriches, giraffes and camels are all legal to own. Class IV: This class includes those native species that may be possessed only by zoos.

Can capybaras be potty trained? ›

They are easily potty trained as babies. However, as they grow older they will probably want to mark their territory using urine and feces. Capybaras need/like to mark their territory (with pooh). Don't plan on keeping a carpet!

Are capybaras easy to raise? ›

They are so domesticated that there are even homes that keep them as indoor pets! Even if you don't live in such an accommodating home, it's easy to care for capybaras as pets. One of the best reasons to get a capybara as a pet is that they are gentle giants who get along well with other animals.

Are capybaras smart? ›

Capybaras are intensely social, herd animals. They are very complex and sophisticated emotionally. They are also highly intelligent, at least as intelligent as the most intelligent dogs. As herd animals they need a constant companion.

Do capybaras poop alot? ›

Like most other rodents, capybaras poop a lot, and their digestive system supports it.

What do capybaras smell like? ›

Capybara fur doesn't smell because they don't have a thick undercoat like a dog or a cat.

Do capybaras hurt people? ›

Capybaras are known to be very territorial, and they can bite if they feel threatened. They can do a lot of damage with their teeth and can carry diseases that humans and other animals can catch from them.

What diseases do capybaras carry? ›

In addition to rickettsia, capybaras may also carry other potentially zoonotic agents, such as Leishmania spp., Leptospira spp., Trypanosoma spp., En- terobacteriae (including Salmonella spp.), ectoparasites, dermatophytes, and rabies virus (Muzel unpubl.).

Do capybaras eat meat? ›

They're vegetarian.

You might even call them picky eaters. Capybaras eat grass, mostly, and limit their selection to just a few plants. Like cows, they eat their own feces to help with digestion.

What is the friendliest animal in the world? ›

Friendliest Wild Animal: Capybaras

Capybaras will often “adopt” stray and runt animals. One of the very few things in this world on which everyone can agree is that capybaras are the friendliest wild animals on Earth. This giant, wild rodent, is about four-feet-long, and the average capybara weighs about 150 pounds.

Do capybaras bark? ›

Capybaras are incredibly vocal animals and communicate using barks, chirps, whistles, huffs, and purrs. They chatter back and forth to keep track of one another. A warning bark is their first line of defense. If one animal feels threatened, the whole group barks until danger has passed.

Do capybaras spit? ›

When threatened, capybaras will often curl up into a ball and protect their head and neck with their sharp claws. They may also spit or urinate to create a foul smell that will deter predators.

How big do capybaras get? ›

What place has the most capybaras in the world? ›

The capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) is a large rodent native to South America. These loveable creatures are particularly numerous in the Pantanal of Brazil and the seasonally flooded grasslands of the Llanos in Colombia and Venezuela, but can also be found in Peru, Argentina and Uruguay.

What city do capybaras live in? ›

Capybaras are found in Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Northeast Argentina and Uruguay. They are semi-aquatic and will spend most of their time in dense vegetation around rivers, lakes, ponds, marshes and swamps.

What animal eats capybara? ›

It is helpful to have many sets of eyes watching out for the youngsters, since they can easily fall victim to caimans, ocelots, harpy eagles, and anacondas. Adult capybaras have one main natural predator—the jaguar—but humans hunt them as well.

Can capybaras survive snow? ›

Frostbite is deadly for capybaras because it eventually results in infection and their feet never seem to heal. The best way to prevent frostbite is to limit snow time, especially for younger animals.

Why are capybaras always in water with oranges? ›

22! In Japan, it's said that having a yuzu (a type of citrus fruit) bath will prevent colds, and the custom of taking such baths on winter solstice has been around since the Edo period. The Izu Shaboten Zoo has been running the “Capybara Yuzuyu” every winter solstice since the last year of the rat in 1996.

What animal has no predator? ›

Animals with no natural predators are called apex predators, because they sit at the top (or apex) of the food chain. The list is indefinite, but it includes lions, grizzly bears, crocodiles, giant constrictor snakes, wolves, sharks, electric eels, giant jellyfish, killer whales, polar bears, and arguably, humans.

Do capybaras lay eggs? ›

Capybaras mate in the water. After a 5-month gestation period, the female capybara will give birth to four to five babies.

Can capybaras fight? ›

Despite having the reputation of being the most "chill animal" capybaras can actually be quite aggressive to each other and other animals.

Are capybaras legal in NJ? ›

Question: Can someone own a Capybara in NJ? Answer: Yes, with a permit.

Can you own a penguin? ›

The laws regarding penguins are far stricter than with other exotic animals, not just in the US, but in the entire world. Suffice to say that penguins are definitely illegal to keep as pets in America.

Why are capybaras illegal in some states? ›

Capybaras are illegal in California because they are considered a wild animal and can be dangerous. They can attack people and other animals, and they can cause major damage if they are released into the wild.


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