5 things to know about Gatorland’s capybaras

There’s no bigger rodent in the world than capybaras. You can now touch, pet, and feed them in a brand new Orlando theme park exhibit.

  1. Danielle Lucas is the animal care director at Gatorland. She is introducing us to Ben and Jerry. “Essentially, they are giant guinea pigs,” she said, referring to the duo inside the park’s new Capybara Encounter.

  2. Gatorland guests can upgrade their admission ticket with an intimate tour and series of interactions with capybaras Ben and Jerry, who are herbivores. “If it’s green, it’s gone,” she laughs, referring to their appetite for plants.

  3. Capybaras are native to South America. So what do they feel like? “They’re not soft. They’re very coarse.”

  4. Danielle gets stoked every time Gatorland gets new residents. “I’ve been doing [animal care] for almost 18 years,” she says. “The animals, there’s something about being able to take care of them; dedicate your entire life to them to make sure they have the best life possible.”

  5. The Capybara tours are now happening Fridays through Mondays at Gatorland. The cost is $10.