Capybaras continue to grow in popularity. The babies are so adorable that almost everyone who sees them wants one. We have seen a few come into rescues, but it was always inevitable that eventually some older capybaras would languish on broker’s websites, unwanted. Where are those potential capybara owners now?
When people go down to the pound looking to adopt a dog, most are thinking about puppies. Sure there are puppies, but most are middle aged. Then there are the old dogs, sweet but tired, maybe they have some medical issues. There are always a few folks who will take a grandpa dog. Dogs are domestic, though, bred for centuries to become companions for Homo sapiens.
Capybaras are wild animals, centuries from that inbred subservience that domestication guarantees. Even the babies are wild, and like baby tigers that grow into formidable carnivores, cute little capybaras grow into wild, highly strung adults. Untamed capybaras are terrified of humans and wary of large mammals in general. That meme about capybaras being “terminally chill” is promoted by people who know nothing about the species. Capybaras are wild in every way imaginable. They are, however, tame-able.
Dobby has been gone for a long time now, but I keep up-to-date on all things capybara. That’s how I heard about this old guy. There are lots of young capybaras available, babies too, but this dude caught my eye. I don’t really have a good situation for a capybara any more, but that doesn’t stop me from looking.
“10 year old male capybara. Has been used in our petting zoo. Skittish but will eat from your hand.”
The price tag is about the same as for an infant, with maybe ten years ahead of them. This guy’s ten years are already spent.
Well, a couple of us have been talking about this guy for a while. How does one have a capybara for ten years and then decide they are done with him? Like, “maybe time for a new sofa?” There are ten year old dogs in the pound, so I guess this is a thing when your animal grows old. Put a for sale sign on their pen and hope for the best, I guess. Anyway, the longer we thought about this old duffer, the more concerned we became. I try not to judge, because the stories I hear are sad ones: people in transition, having a hard time coping, re-homing the pet is often the simplest of their problems. Recently, a thoughtful woman brought me a pair of young finches in a brand new cage. She found them by a dumpster, covered by an old rag. How do these things happen?
So this is our plan, and yes we’re already working on it, and no he isn’t coming here. It’s winter here now, and he’s living down south in a pleasant climate. We plan to purchase him, though everyone knows they should give him to us. If we want to rescue him, we expect to pay the asking price. Hopefully less. We are arranging to have him moved to an interim facility with experienced capybara caretakers. He will be spoiled rotten. And then we will find a more personal situation for him, an actual home would be nice. I am working with folks who have extensive capybara experience, so this will be as stress-free as it can possibly be. Then you can all breathe a sigh of relief, while we continue to fuss and fret over this old dude. We aren’t expecting to tame him or put him on display, he’s just going into retirement at a Five Star Retirement Ranch and Spa. If we play our cards right, we’ll move him directly there.
This is where I ask you to get out your wallet. We can do this for the bargain basement price of $2000. I set up a Capybara Rescue Fund for him on the Stacy’s Funny Farm Facebook page so all donations will be completely tax deductible. Facebook even takes care of all the thank you letters and legal stuff that isn’t as much fun as it sounds.
You can donate now, and then again on January 1 and get two year’s worth of deductions! Such a deal! Let’s start with everybody putting in $20, more if you can. Less if you can’t, and if you can’t donate, please re-post this blog. You can do that, right?
Some fine print: This dude is old, and while our point is to help this elder statesman who has no doubt represented the species in a healthy and dignified manner for decades, things happen. In that case, the remaining proceeds would be split evenly between Stacy’s Funny Farm (for writing this blog) and The Pipsqueakery (for starting all this by sending me the heart-wrenching article in the first place.) We are both §501(C)(3) non-profit organizations, your money is safe with us. A little bit might go to guinea pigs, though.
You can also donate directly here if you don’t have a Facebook account.
All capybaras pictured in this blog were rescue animals, except as noted.