Runaway High Park Capybaras

No, they didn’t run away again. A Toronto-area friend of Dobby’s visited them and recently sent photos of the High Park capybaras with the babies. I started thinking about the 2017 adventure, and decided to make sure everyone knows about these famous runaways. Click on the links to see some of the newspaper articles featuring these two. They were in the news for months!

MaryAnne Kneif

Bonnie and Clyde earned their names by being on the lam for over a month.

A newly arrived pair of capybaras snuck out the gate as they were being transferred to a new pen. Because the zoo is located within High Park, they escaped into a forested paradise with swimming and grazing and lots of shelter and hiding places. It was summer, so no problem, but they also were at risk for being hit by a car on one of the roads in the park.

MaryAnne Kneif

Run, capybara, run!

For the next month, there were spurious sightings of the errant pair, resulting in wild goose chases and mounting frustration. They finally nabbed one of them using a live trap baited with __ __ __ __ *. Can you guess what they used for bait?

With an experienced Brazilian capybara wrangler on the team, it was only a matter of time before they caught the second capy.

MaryAnne Kneif

Bonnie and Clyde reminiscing about their big adventure.

Once they had returned to their pen and the excitement faded, the “big” part of the adventure became more apparent, as Bonnie grew, and grew, and grew. One day, three baby capybaras fell out of her bottom. Now they are a family of five. The little pups are named Geddy, Alex, and Neil. Why are those names so familiar?

MaryAnne Kneif

Bonnie demonstrates proper grazing technique to the pups while Clyde watches a football match on the telly.

There are some great videos of the little guys. Click on <- that link, it wouldn’t allow me to embed the video. Here’s another one:

The babies are all grown up now. Will they escape, too?

MaryAnne Kneif

Did Bonnie tell them tales of her adventures outside the fence?

We are always interested in capybara spottings: in zoos, in the wild, and in your back yard! I’d love to share your photos here and on the ROUS Foundation website, too! Use the Ask Dobby tab up there.

Special thanks to MaryAnne Kneif for the photos, the inspiration, and kind words!

*The live trap was baited with corn, of course!

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