Azara's Agouti

Azara's Agouti are a species of South American rodent. They are distantly related to the Capybara who you will also see here at the Zoo. When alarmed they make a barking noise, something the Capybara also do.

They store and hoard, and have the nickname of 'jungle gardener' as they often forget where they have buried nuts and seeds and so they germinate and begin to grow! They like to eat fruit, leaves and roots, usually ones that are on the ground but they have been know to climb trees to get at green fruit. They are actually one of the few species that can open a Brazil nut without tools!

It isn't really known how many there are in the wild but it is thought to be locally extinct in some areas due to hunting and it is listed as vulnerable in Argentina. Due to hunting they are very shy animals. They have a variety of habitats including rainforests, savannas, and cultivated fields. They love water, and swim well.

Agouti are monogamous and pair for life. They are extremely well developed when they are born, are up and about within an hour., and can live for up to 20 years.