Want to pet a capybara in Florida? Due to how cute and calm these giant rodents are they have become very popular attractions at local zoos and wildlife parks so there are now a number of places that offer capybara encounters.
The following is a list of capybara encounters in Florida:
Address: 4235 Rambler Ave, St. Cloud, FL
Established in 2009, Amazing Animals is a 2.5-acre private exotic animal preserve in St. Cloud that is home to over 100 exotic animals.
The preserve is not open for general admission so visitors need to book a private tour in order to visit.
Visitors who book a tour can meet, pet and feed an adorable capybara. Tours are available for groups of 1 to 4 people with an additional cost for each additional person.
The tour is 1.5 hours long and includes photo opportunities with the animals.
In addition to the capybara encounter, the preserve also offers guests the opportunity to pet a sloth, tortoise and other small animals.
Amazing Animals Inc was founded by Brian Braitsch.
Address: 14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL
Established in 1949, Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park in Orlando that features alligators, wild cats, birds as well as capybara.
The park offers a capybara encounter during which guests can meet two of the park’s capybaras, Ben and Jerry, as well as two new baby capybaras, Mochi and Boba, who were born earlier this year.
The encounter takes place in the capybara’s exhibit on Flamingo Island which they share with turtles and waterfowl.
The capybara encounter is available in the afternoon on Sunday, Monday, Friday and Saturday.
In addition to the capybara encounter, the park also offers alligator shows, a zip line, a petting zoo and a swamp tour in an off-road vehicle.
If you want to visit Gatorland and would like to save money on tickets, check out this article on Gatorland discount tickets.
Gatorland was founded by Owen Godwin in 1949 and is licensed by the USDA.
Address: 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, FL
Established in 1936, Jungle Island is an 18-acre eco-adventure park in Miami that is home to rare and exotic animals.
The park offers a capybara encounter which is a 30-minute hands-on experience with a capybara that guests can pet, feed and take photos with.
In addition to the capybara encounter, the park also offers a sloth encounter, a flamingo experience, a lemur encounter, a giant tortoise encounter and a kangaroo encounter.
Jungle Island is accredited by the Zoological Association of America.
Jungle Island was founded by Francis & Louise Scherr and is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Miami.
Paws and Claws
Address: 3240 Hyder Ave, Deltona, FL
Established in 2020, Paws and Claws is an exotic animal sanctuary for rescued animals. The sanctuary is a forever home for animals that have been rescued from places such as unsuitable homes and fur farms.
The sanctuary features a wide variety of animals such as goats, raccoons, foxes, lemurs and capybaras.
The sanctuary offers group tours of its facility during which visitors can feed the resident animals, including the capybara.
The tours are one hour long and are available Monday through Saturday for groups of up to five people. The tours must be booked in advance as it is a private facility that does not allow walk-ins.
The park is licensed by the USDA and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Paws and Claws was founded by Meagan Harding.
Wild Florida Airboats & Gator Park:
Address: 3301 Lake Cypress Rd, Kenansville, FL
Wild Florida is a 170-acre drive-thru safari park in Kenansville that also features a gator park and airboat tours. The park is home to a variety of animals such as giraffes, alligators, sloths, lemurs and capybara.
The park offers a capybara encounter during which visitors can pet, interact with and hand-feed capybaras.
The park also offers other animal encounters such as a sloth encounter, giraffe encounter, a gator feeding encounter, an albino alligator encounter, an African Crested Porcupine encounter, a Tamandua encounter and a ring-tailed lemur encounter.
The park is licensed by the USDA, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and its airboats are inspected by the United States Coast Guard.
Sam Haught, Ranier Munns, Jordan Munns and Daniel Munns are the owners of Wild Florida Airboats and Gator Park.
Kustura, Katie. “3 places to get a closer look at exotic animals, reptiles and aquatic creatures in Volusia County.” The Daytona Beach News Journal, 16 Dec. 2021, news-journalonline.com/story/lifestyle/things-to-do/2021/12/16/exotic-animals-reptiles-volusia-county-3-places-check-out/8721823002/
“Our History.” Jungle Island, jungleisland.com/our-history
“Gatorland Guests Get Up Close With New Capybara Encounter.” Fox 35, 27 June. 2022, fox35orlando.com/news/gatorland-guests-get-up-close-with-new-capybara-encounter
Walker, Allison. “5 Things to Know About Gatorland’s Capybaras.” Spectrum News, 5 Aug. 2022, mynews13.com/fl/orlando/news/2022/08/06/5-things-to-know-about-gatorland-s-capybaras
Carter, Ashley. “Gatorland Adds Capybara Encounter, Extends Florida Resident Discount.” Spectrum News, 27 Jun. 2022, mynews13.com/fl/orlando/attractions/2022/06/27/gatorland-adds-capybara-encounter-to-lineup
“Meet the Team.” Amazing Animals INC, amazinganimalsinc.org/meettheteam
“Accredited Facilities.” Zoological Association of America, zaa.org/accredited-facilties