Where Can I Pet a Capybara? Uncover the Top Destinations for Capybara Encounters in the US

If you've ever wondered where you can pet a capybara, the world's largest rodent, look no further! We've got you covered with the top destinations in the US for unforgettable capybara encounters.

Capybaras, the gentle giants of the rodent world, have captured the hearts of animal lovers everywhere. These fascinating creatures, native to South and Central America, are the largest rodents on the planet and are known for their social and friendly nature. As semi-aquatic animals, they require access to water for swimming and cooling off, making them unique and interesting pets.

In this article, we'll explore the best places in the US where you can pet a capybara and learn about their care, legal considerations, and safety precautions when interacting with these adorable animals.

Zoos and Sanctuaries for Capybara Encounters

If you're eager to meet and pet a capybara up close, there are several zoos and sanctuaries in the US that offer special capybara encounters. These experiences provide an opportunity to learn about these remarkable animals while enjoying some hands-on interaction.

North Georgia Wildlife and Safari Park

Located in the beautiful North Georgia mountains, the North Georgia Wildlife and Safari Park is home to a variety of exotic animals, including capybaras. The park offers "capybara experiences" that allow visitors to feed and touch these gentle rodents. To participate in this unique encounter, you'll need to book in advance and pay a fee of $50 per person. This unforgettable experience is perfect for capybara enthusiasts and animal lovers alike.

Tucson Petting Zoo and Funny Foot Farm

The Tucson Petting Zoo and Funny Foot Farm is another fantastic destination for capybara fans. This Arizona zoo is home to Cheesecake, a friendly capybara who loves to cuddle with visitors. During your visit, you'll also have the chance to see other exotic animals, such as porcupines, wallabies, and coatimundis. The Tucson Petting Zoo and Funny Foot Farm is an excellent choice for a fun and educational day out with the family.

Austin Zoo

The Austin Zoo in Texas offers a capybara encounter program that lets you meet and pet two charming capybaras named Lulu and Dobby. To take part in this special experience, you'll need to make a reservation and pay a fee of $175 for up to four people. This exclusive encounter is a fantastic opportunity to learn about capybaras and their care while enjoying some quality time with these lovable animals.

Capybaras as Pets: Legal Considerations and Challenges

While the idea of owning a capybara as a pet may be appealing, it's essential to be aware of the legal considerations and challenges involved. Some states or cities have laws that prohibit or restrict keeping capybaras as pets.

For example, capybaras are banned as pets in California and Georgia, but they are legal to own in Texas, Pennsylvania, and parts of New York. Before adopting or purchasing a capybara, it's crucial to check with your local authorities to ensure you're in compliance with any relevant laws or regulations.

Caring for Capybaras: Space, Diet, and Companionship Requirements

Owning a capybara as a pet is a significant responsibility, as these animals have specific care requirements. To ensure your capybara thrives, you'll need to provide ample space, a suitable diet, and companionship.

Space Requirements

Capybaras are large animals, with adults weighing up to 140 pounds. They require a spacious environment to roam, explore, and exercise. In addition to a large outdoor area, capybaras need access to water for swimming and cooling off. A pool or pond that is at least 4 feet deep and 10 feet wide is necessary to meet their aquatic needs.


Capybaras are herbivores, primarily consuming grasses, aquatic plants, fruits, and vegetables. Providing a varied and balanced diet is essential for their health and well-being. In addition to fresh produce, commercial capybara pellets can be offered to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.


Capybaras are social animals that thrive in the company of others. In the wild, they live in groups, and as pets, they require companionship to prevent loneliness and boredom. If you're considering adopting a capybara, it's best to plan for at least two animals to ensure they have a companion to interact with.

Safety Considerations When Interacting with Capybaras

Although capybaras are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, it's important to remember that they are still wild animals. They can bite or scratch if provoked or scared, and their sharp teeth and claws can cause serious injuries. As such, it's essential to approach and interact with capybaras cautiously and respectfully.

Capybaras may not be suitable pets for small children or inexperienced pet owners. Adult supervision is necessary when children are interacting with capybaras to ensure both the child and the animal remain safe and comfortable.


If you're wondering where you can pet a capybara, the North Georgia Wildlife and Safari Park, Tucson Petting Zoo and Funny Foot Farm, and Austin Zoo are all excellent destinations for unforgettable capybara encounters. However, before adopting a capybara as a pet, it's essential to consider the challenges and responsibilities involved, including providing adequate space, a suitable diet, and companionship.

Additionally, be aware of the legal considerations and safety precautions when interacting with these fascinating animals. With the right care and attention, capybaras can make unique and rewarding pets for experienced and dedicated animal lovers.