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Can Capybaras Climb Trees? [Answered]

Can Capybaras Climb Trees?

Can Capybaras Climb Trees?

It’s no news that capybaras are adorable animals. Despite their calmness and laid-back altitude, some animals still hunt them for food.


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Pumas and jaguars are not intrigued by their charm. To them, capybaras are nothing but prey. If the rodents have successful hypnotised other animals into liking them, it’s business as usual for these apex predators.

Baby Capybara Facts You Should Know

The capybara has sharp teeth and fast feet, but it uses the latter more. It is useless fighting a big cat; they know they will not stand any chance. So the only way is to flee. Capybaras swim excellently, and cats dislike water. So they retreat into the river.

Why not climb trees?


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Good question!

The real question we should be asking, however, is, can they climb trees?

Simple answer. No.

Why Can’t Capybaras Climb Trees?

Capybaras can’t climb trees because of their anatomy. Its body structure is not suitable for climbing. Although its agility is superb on land, it doesn’t have the same if it tried climbing trees.

Although it is a rodent, it has the body structure of a pig. And last time I checked, pigs can’t climb trees. If you have seen such before, do share.

It’s worse. Capybaras can’t even jump. They can’t spring like a deer or hop high like a kangaroo. They run by a series of hops and short canters moving sideways like a pig.

The capybara has a short neck and round body, with hind legs that are slightly bent. It’s heavier than most rodents and has duck like webbed feet. Yes, it has nails at its paws, but they don’t grip well. Forget it; this animal was built to swim, not climb trees.

Getting into the anatomical details, you will understand.

Head body length

90 – 130 cm

Shoulder Height

About 50 cm

Average Body Weight

50-63 kg, The females are bigger and weigh up to 80 kg.

Shoulder Length

100–130 cm


Three digits in front, four at the back, webbed.

Capybara’s most recognisable feature is their head which is exceptionally large and broad. Their small and rounded bodies complement their short neck, legs and small ears. This is a swimmer, not a climber.

Do Capybaras Hide From Predators By Climbing Trees?

No, they don’t. Remember, this animal can’t climb trees, so climbing to avoid predators is off the table.

Capybaras Avoid Predation by fleeing into the water.

The capybara can surprisingly run fast for its size. Faced with a predator, it runs away and emits a cry to warn the others, who immediately run away and hide in the water.

Hiding in the water is possible and efficient because of the Capybara’s anatomy.

Are Capybaras Obsessed With Water? [Answered]

Like a hippopotamus, the Capybara’s nostrils, eyes and ears are high in his face allowing him to be submerged in the river but still be able to breathe.

If need be, a capybara can submerge into the water. They can last up to five minutes in the water.

They will hide in the creeks, too, if they can and only emerge through the floating vegetation when the danger has been averted. They can hide for several minutes to hours. They would hide as long as there is still danger.

Most of the capybara’s predators do not like water and hunt alone compared to  Capybaras which are social and move in packs, especially in the dry seasons.

This makes the water the best haven to escape being hunted at these times.

Do Capybaras Live In Trees?

They are capybaras, not birds. They are not cats or dogs; they are pig-like rodents. You will only find capybaras on trees in Disney movies.

In the real world, you can find capybaras along the banks they live. Sometimes they lay along the swamps and rivers, which they like to take a plunge.

They can also live in swamps and creeks. Their love for water is biological rather than for leisure only. As pigs enjoy mud baths because they need to cool themselves down, so does a capybara need to cool down too.

Capybaras have thick fur and can’t sweat effectively. They don’t pant like dogs, so they need periodical swims to cool down. Of course, they enjoy it, but it’s their biological needs that make them exceedingly crave swimming

If you were looking for a bird, say a parrot, you could look into trees, but if you are after the adorable capybara, check the nearest river bed. Don’t be surprised when you find it taking a swim feeling so smug.

What Do Capybaras Climb?

Capybaras are poor climbers because their hind legs are used for hoping forward and not upwards.

But if they could climb anything, what would they climb?

  1. Little Platforms

They could, if so they wanted to, hop on a cliffy platform up to 4- 5 inches high. If there is food on this platform, they are encouraged to do it.

  1. Other Animals

Capybaras can climb on other animals if they don’t mind. These animals would be their cool friends, equal docile as them, animals like turtles.

  1. Other Capybaras

They like climbing on one another too. Especially when they are young, it’s their way of socialising and resting.

  1. Humans

If you have a capybara pet and don’t mind, it can climb on you. They like to be petted, and depending on how well you have bonded with them, they can climb on your back to chill.

  1. Stairs

Stairs gradually rise, so they are perfect if a capybara wants to climb. They can hop on from step up step like a rabbit. So don’t worry, if you live in a four-storey apartment, your capybaras could come up. Or you could take the elevator!

  1. Pools

It’s normal to find capybaras in warm pools in Japan. These pools are man-made because “capybaras swimming” have become a tourist attraction in Japan. Cappy’s climb into their pools when the weather is unfavourable, or they crave a swim.

How Do Capybaras Relate With Other Animals & Humans?

Do A Baby Capybara Climbs Its Mother’s Back?

Mothers backing their young is a common practice in mammalian parenting care. Gorilla and other primates back they young like humans do.

While capybaras don’t back their young, baby capy’s climb on their mother’s back. They are doing so to relax than hitching a ride. They climb their backs when their mother is perched and relaxing in the grass too.

Sometimes, more than one baby capy climb on their mother, and they may compete for her back. Mothers don’t mind; if they let animals or other species climb on their backs, their children get a free pass.

Young capy’s can also climb on other animals if they let them. Turtles, humans and other rodents can let baby capy’s climb their backs.

Do Capybaras Eat Trees?

Is that a trick question? Capybaras are huge but not that huge. They can never eat whole trees!

But if you were wondering if they eat part of trees? Of course, Capybaras are herbivores; they can and will eat some part of trees!

But they are very picky eaters. They prefer eating grass and hay to eating trees and some other fresh greens. They have a multi-chambered heart and can digest most greens, but still, they prefer their treats.

So It feeds mainly on aquatic plants (including water hyacinth), leaves, bark and herbage that it finds along the lakes, rivers and marshes where it lives.

The capybara has sharp incisors that grow continuously. He also has 2 large molars on each jaw.

Due to a slight shift in the dentition, when he uses his incisors to nibble, his molars are inactive, and when he uses his molars to grind vegetation, his incisors are at rest.

So don’t expect them to take the spinach off your hand or your potatoes or the delicious homemade guacamole. Don’t be disappointed in them. They prefer their unprocessed diet. What do capybaras love to eat, then?


Like Bobby, the stallion, give capybara hay, and they are good to go. They enjoy chewing at hay side to side like a camel when they are not taking a deep or socialising with other animals.


Capybaras can eat grains such as wheat but only occasionally or when their preferred grasses are unavailable.

Aquatic Plants

Since they reside near water every day, they eat aquatic plants.


Another one of their favourite meals.


Crowngrass share a habitat with capybaras, so they are food to these rodents.

Switchgrass and Bermuda grass

Same as Crowngrass. These grass are along the river banks, and capybaras prefer these plants to any greens available in your kitchen.

Can Capybaras Kill Humans – Are Capybaras Dangerous? – [Answered]


Capybaras can scrape trees barks with their teeth


Reeds along the banks are another of his favourite delicacies.

Plant Roots

Roots taste like bread to this pig-like rodent.

What Part Of A Tree Does A Capybara Eat?

As listed, a capybara prefers his selected grass to other foods. But in the absence of these, the capybara can switch to alternatives. If he wants to eat out of a tree, he would probably eat

  1. Bark

As earliest stated, capybara’s sharp teeth can be used to scrap tree bark. This is advantageous in two ways. They get to satisfy their hunger pangs, and two, they ingest medicinal compounds that strengthen their immune system or heal diseases.

  1. Leaves

Does capybara eat tree leaves? Yes, but unless they like it and they can reach it. Most trees are higher than the rodents reach and their inability to climb or jump makes it tricky in getting it.

  1. Roots

Soft tree roots are another of their meals. They might nibble on them and eat a little quantity.

  1. Whole Branches?

Capybaras can eat of the branches, but whole branches will be too large for them to consume.

Can Capybaras Be A Pest?

Those adorable rodents? Pets? Well, yes, capybaras can be pests. In fact, the primary reason why man hunts them as meat is that it destroys farm crops like most other rodents.

Capys have a monstrous appetite, and they can eat about one-fifth of their body weight per day. This makes them devastating creatures to farms and farmers.

They can invade communities in their numbers and feast on their farm crops. They also evade urban communities.

Sometimes in Argentina, a community called an animal control unit for tens of capybaras that roamed freely in the park. They constituted a nuisance and scared people unfamiliar with their peacefulness.

Can You Cuddle A Capybara? – [Answered]

And they are very elusive. They know how to hide. So it’s was a real problem to deal with them.

The best approach to a Capy invasion is to call animal control. It is advisable not to attack or try to capture them yourself. Capybaras have sharp teeth and are not afraid to use them.

Can Capybaras Kill A Tree?

No way a capybara will kill a tree. It can scrape its back or eat its leave and roots, but those are too insignificant to kill an entire tree. They may do real damage to shrubs and grasses but are harmless to trees.

Can A Capybara Be A Threat To Nature?

No, capybaras are herbivores, and in as much as they could be pests, they are not as ravaging as locusts or grasshoppers or even caterpillars.

They are in no way in any threat to any species, nor are they endangered. The number of the family of capybaras worldwide are healthy and are growing steadily as they get more popular.

They have become stars in Japan and the UK, and soon everyone in the world will know all about them.

Conclusion – Can Capybaras Climb Trees?

The Capybara are excellent swimmers, not climbers; that’s evident as their body is structured for swimming than climbing. So if you saw a capybara on a treetop, you might be hallucinating.

They flee into the water for protection as most of their predators are big cats that don’t like water. They can go underwater for up to five minutes too.

They might enjoy a few grains but prefer selected choice delicacies. And they are ever so cool. They love to climb other capybaras or other animals and can be your favourite pet.









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