Twycross Zoo - Follow Your Heart

Opening Times: 10am - 6pm

Charity Heart

Twycross Zoo is a registered charity (number 501841) which exists to support conservation, education and research.

Patagonian Mara

Scientific Name: Dolichotis patagonum

Patagonian mara are the third largest rodents in the world, the capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) is the largest and the beaver (Castor sp.) is second largest. They have grey-brown fur and long, powerful rear legs. These legs make the Patagonian mara well adapted for running across their grassland habitat. They have several different ways of moving; from a slow rabbit-like hop to a high speed bouncing run.

Patagonian mara travel in mated pairs, which remain together for life. Each pair have a home range of around 40 hectares, which will overlap with the territories of other pairs. They do not appear territorial, but the male will follow his female guarding her against rival males and predatory animals. When particularly rich areas of food become available more than 70 individuals may gather in one place.

Each year a female will have two or three litters of one to three young. They are well developed at birth and quickly join the offspring of around 15 other mara pairs in a communal burrow. Parents will visit in turn to nurse their young, which they identify by scent.

The Patagonian mara prefers to eat grasses and herbs, but will eat other vegetation if grass is not available.

This species is classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN. The main threats facing them are hunting, habitat destruction for agriculture and competition for food with introduced species, such as sheep and European hares.

Key Facts:

  • Conservation Status: Near Threatened
  • Distribution: Argentina
  • Habitat: Grassland, Scrublands
  • Diet: Grasses, Herbivore, Leaves
  • Weight: 9 – 16kg
  • Gestation: 3 months
  • No. of young: 1 – 3
  • Life Span: 14 years

Gallery:

What’s On

Animal Experiences

Would you like to get even closer to some of the animals at Twycross Zoo? With our range of animal experiences, you can make a great day out even more memorable. Why not give one as a gift?

Find Out More

Adopt an Animal

An Animal Adoption is the perfect gift for all animal lovers. Each adoption helps support Twycross Zoo’s conservation work worldwide, as well as help care for our animals at the zoo.

Find Out More