Azara’s Agouti are rodents from the same family as Guinea pigs. Agouti are shy burrow-dwelling animals. If they feel threatened, their defense mechanism is to freeze and remain still until danger passes. Most of their time is spent foraging in the forest looking for fallen fruit and nuts. They have five toes on their front feet, but only three toes on their hind feet.
Threats: Habitat destruction and hunting
Lifespan: up to 20 years in captivity
Agouti are known as ‘jungle gardeners’ as they bury nuts and seeds in the rainforest floor which then grow. These then grow into plants and trees. Did you know that Agouti are one of the only animals who can open a Brazil nut using their sharp teeth and strong jaws?
Our 2 Agouti are brothers and they love fresh coconut as a weekly treat. They have very curious personalities and will often come running over if they can hear the keepers shaking a bowl of their favorite nuts. They even recognise the sound of the coconut being opened in the keepers feed room and line up ready for a feast!