Every summer the boy and I have a week at Ribby Hall in Lancashire. Since we started going there in 2017, we’ve been visiting the on site zoo, Wild Discovery. Each year we’ve watched it grow, visited their new animals; and every time we visit we spend at least a couple of days at the zoo, just hanging out and learning more about the creatures who share this planet with us.
Wild Discovery is a brilliant place, it’s really welcoming and very educational; we just love it. The last time we visited, we booked the capybara experience, so the boy could get up close and personal with these giant, and very adorable animals. The session costs £25 and you get to meet the capybara, help to feed them and put together some enrichment activities for them. You also get to spend lots of time with a keeper who will tell you all about the capybara and answer any questions you may have.
Capybara are a giant rodent native to South America and they are the largest living rodent. The capybara is a close relative of the guinea pig and they usually live in savannas and dense forests. They have webbed feet, which help to make them really good swimmers. They are a highly social species and can be found in large groups. Capybara are not a threatened species, but they are hunted for their meat. They are incredibly docile, which makes them ideal for meeting and greeting the public at Wild Discovery.
The three capybara at Wild Discovery (Mo, Curly and Larry) live in a good sized enclosure with their own pool. They like a good dip on a hot day and love nothing more than having a nice scratch.
We were welcomed by keepers, Alex and Grace, and we had to wash our hands and wear a mask before we could meet the trio of capybara. There were some safety rules to remember, which is important because they’re still wild animals. We were asked to sit on a log and wait for the capybara to come to us. We enticed them over with some chopped up butternut squash and we got to give them a scratch and feed them by hand, which was incredible.
The boy helped put together some enrichment activities; whilst keepers, Grace and Alex gave us the low down on all things capybara. We were the only ones booked for the capybara experience, so it felt like a really exclusive experience.
The boy was thrilled with his hour in the capybara enclosure. For £25 per person, you get a real once in a lifetime experience. Who else do you know who has given a capybara a good scratch behind their ears?
If you’re visiting Ribby Hall, or Wild Discovery, it’s well worth seeing if you can book in for one of their animal experiences. The experiences change throughout the year; but at the time of writing you can book onto the capybara experience or the tortoise experience.
We paid for our visit and experience in full.