Patagonian Cavy at GarLyn Zoo
Patagonian Cavies or Mara are large members of the rodent family. They are about 2 to 2 1/2 feet long with a stubby tail almost not noticeable, and weigh about 15 to 20 pounds when fully grown. They are from South America and live in colonies much like prairie dogs. They are grazing animals in they're native land but here at GarLyn Zoological Park they are fed a diet of rabbit pellets, good grass and clover mix hay and treats of apples and carrots. They are also extremely fond of monkey chow. They are housed in a large enclosure with a top, due to their ability to jump quite high when alarmed. They don't appear to like to walk in snow but handle the extremely cold weather well, when supplied with plenty of dry straw or hay to bed down in along with shelter from the elements.
They give birth to babies that are fully developed, eyes open and covered with fur. The babies are up and running within an hour or so. They can have up to 5 babies in a litter but ours usually have only 2 or 3. They usually give birth twice per year.