Marwell Zoo welcomes Brazilian Guinea Pigs to the family - here is what guests can expect

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Marwell Zoo has welcomed the arrival of a new species to the family.

The small species are the wild relatives of domestic guinea pigs, living in small groups of one male, two or more females and any young the group produces.

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They have four toes on their front feet and three on each of their back feet and they are currently listed as Least Concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

Another new species has arrived at Marwell - Brazilian guinea pigs.Another new species has arrived at Marwell - Brazilian guinea pigs.
Another new species has arrived at Marwell - Brazilian guinea pigs.

Brazilian Guinea Pigs are native to Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, Bolivia, north Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay where they live in a range of habitats including grasslands, forests and savannas.

Amy Denny, Primates and Small Mammals Animal Team Leader, said: “The primates and small mammals team are excited, not only to have the Brazilian guinea pigs as a new species in our collection but also to be housing them with our golden headed lion tamarins and pygmy marmosets overhead. This will be a dynamic and engaging experience for guests and hopefully capture people’s interests about South American mammals.

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“The team have been working hard to create an immersive and naturalistic habitat to demonstrate how the domestic guinea pig’s relatives would live in the wild, and provide lots of opportunities for the species to demonstrate their natural behaviour. They’re still a little nervous while they settle in, so please make sure you’re nice and quiet in order to catch a glimpse of them.”

Guests can visit Marwell’s Brazilian guinea pigs in the Life Among the Trees area of the zoo and the primates team have been working hard to redevelop a previously off-show area and they have installed an additional viewing window to allow guests to see their inside habitat.

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