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Why Do Capybaras Swim With Oranges?

Capybaras are known for an obvious reason, which is being the world’s largest rodent. However, the capybaras have one culture that is yet to be understood by many.


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Capybaras have been found to swim or bathe in a pool filled with citrus fruits. It is common to find pictures and videos of capybaras having a Yuzu bath.

You may have wondered to know why capybaras swim with oranges in the water. Without a doubt, capybara enjoy several benefits from eating oranges and lemons.

In this article, we will tell you the relationship between capybaras and citrus fruits.


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What are Capybaras?

What are nicknames for capybaras

If the name “Capybara” sounds strange to you, it’s high time you know that it is the largest rodent in the world. Capybaras are known for their large size, large heads with small ears, webbed feet, and thick yellowish to reddish-brown fur.

They are fast runners and excellent swimmers. Capybaras are herbivores, meaning that they eat a lot of grasses, plants, reeds, fruits, and vegetables. These rodents also eat grains, small insects, and fish when available.

Capybaras can grow up to 140cm long in size and averagely weigh around 66kg. They can be found in large numbers near water bodies such as marshes, swamps, streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes. They prefer wetlands over every terrain because that is why they find their favorite food – aquatic plants.

Like human beings, capybaras need Vitamin C in their diets. Unfortunately, they cannot produce Vitamin C themselves so they consume fruits like oranges and lemons to enrich themselves. 

What Do Capybaras Eat?

In our last article, we looked at the capybara diet and what they eat. Capybara enjoy eating plants and grasses. More than 80% of the capybara diet consists of water plants, fruits, tree bark, leaves, and green vegetation.

Depending on the season of the year, these rodents can eat other creatures like snails and ants, which they find along riverbanks. They also enjoy eating crops such as squash and sweet potatoes.

One of the unbelievable but true facts about capybaras is that they eat and reingest their own poop. Eating their feces is strictly for nutritional purposes. It may seem disgusting but doing this helps them digest their food and help them absorb more nutrients effectively.

If you have a pet capybara, it is essential to diversify its food for a balanced diet. Supply it with a variety of different foods like fresh grasses, aquatic vegetation, leaves, fruits, and tree bark.

Why Do Capybara Like Lemons and Oranges?

Capybaras are naturally attracted to citrus fruits. Apart from the sweet taste, capybara enjoys eating lemons and oranges for their nutritional benefits. In this section, we will see the reasons capybaras love oranges and lemons.

1. Nutritional Benefits

As mentioned, the capybara body system doesn’t produce Vitamin C. So eating lemons and oranges ensures they get the nutrients from the fruits in sufficient quantities.

The presence of Vitamin C in their body system helps boost the capybara’s immune system, strengthening their body against diseases. Moreover, it improves their digestive health and energizes their body systems.

Capybaras relish the good taste of fruits. Swimming with oranges helps them absorb additional nutrients, which are missing in their natural habitat.

2. Chilling Effect

As semi-aquatic animals, capybaras spend a significant amount of their time in water bodies. These animals enjoy staying in places where they can find water to immerse themselves in.

why do capybaras like oranges

Capybaras find swimming a great hobby because it helps regulate their body temperature. Capybaras are attracted to citrus scent; the strong fragrance of citrus fruits helps them enjoy their time in the water.

These rodents enjoy swimming to relax and chill during the hot weather. The presence of oranges makes swimming exciting for them.

3. Socialization

Capybaras are interactive and social animals. It is common to find a group or herd of capybaras playing with one another.

Swimming helps strengthen their bond and know each other better. Swimming for these rodents is a way of establishing friendships and social connections.

The Right Way To Feed a Capybara

If you own a capybara or have one in your neighborhood and you want to develop a bond with it, a good way to do this is to give it one of its favorite fruits – oranges.

Capybaras enjoy citrus fruits like oranges and won’t reject them when offered to them. Feeding a capybara with oranges can be a great idea.

It is important to observe the capybara especially if you are a stranger before doing this to tell if it is in a happy or sad mood. If you are too nervous or too quick and aggressive, the capybara may feel endangered and harm you. To avoid getting bitten and harmed by the capybara, ensure to follow these steps

1. Ensure the area is safe for you and their capybara. Capybara enjoy staying in environments where they feel safe to explore. If there are potential hazards in the surroundings, a capybara will not feel at ease even with you by its side.

2. Ensure you find fresh and ripe oranges. A capybara can tell the taste and sweetness of a fruit by its scent. The capybara’s nose is incredibly powerful and can pick up scents from miles away. While these rodents love oranges, they will be quick to reject fruits that are not fresh or with bruises and blemishes.

3. Capybaras love it when you give them attention. Be sure to stick around the capybara and stay with it as it enjoys the oranges. Don’t be quick to offer the oranges; feed it one at a time. You must ensure that they are eating it properly and know when they are full, to avoid overeating.

4. Chopping the oranges into small pieces will help the rodent chew and swallow them.

5. Be sure to shower the capybara with plenty of praise and appreciation. Capybaras are endeared to people who treat them specially. So when next you are with your capybara, give it the love and attention it deserves as a pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Capyabaras Enjoy Fruits?

Capybaras enjoy eating sweet fruits such as lemons, watermelons, berries, oranges, etc. These herbivores feed on fruits in the wild.

If you have a pet capybara in your home or yard, be sure to feed it with a variety of different fruits. Your capybara should have a good balance of grasses and fruits. Most importantly, capybaras love water, so give them a sufficient amount of fresh water to drink.

Do Capybaras Like Oranges?

Although capybaras primarily consume water plants and grasses, they tend to eat fruits often. These rodents are known to eat flowers, leaves, and grasses but can also feed on carrots, watermelons, oranges, lemons, yuzu, strawberries, cucumber, bananas, celery, carrots, apples, and other fruits.

Are Capybaras See The Color of Oranges?

Not all living things see objects the way humans do. Capybaras have dichromatic vision, a form of color blindness, meaning they have limited color perception, unlike humans.

While the color of the orange fruits is bright and vivid, it is believed that these rodents are more attracted to its scent and taste rather than its color.

Do Capybaras Swim With Fruits and Other Objects?

Capybaras are inquisitive and would interact with everything, not just their own, but also with other objects in their environment. It is common to find a capybara interacting with other capybaras, humans, toys, etc.

Inserting objects such as toys and oranges in their pool may catch their interest and help produce good behavior in them.

If you constructed a pool for your capybara in your yard, consider filling the pool with a range of objects that are safe for the pet. You can consider putting other fruits apart from oranges that you know the capybara would love.

Do Capybaras Enjoy Bathing With Oranges?

Normally, capybaras enjoy bathing, swimming, or staying in water for extended periods, as it helps cool and regulate their body temperature.

Although capybaras love eating oranges, the presence of their fruits in their water makes them happy. The sweet scent of the oranges in their water keeps them relaxed and comfortable. Some people believe the Vitamin C extract in oranges helps prevent colds.


If you own a capybaras, consider giving them a relaxing orange bath. You can do this by inserting several orange fruits in their bath water. These rodents will really appreciate it when you do so.

Bathing your capybara in oranges is a good idea and must be encouraged from time to time. The cooling effects of their baths and the nutritional value provided by the oranges will help these rodents enjoy their time with you.


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