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Central Park Zoo Welcomes Newborn Cavy

By Amy Zimmer | August 25, 2011 3:41pm
The Central Park Zoo's new addition is this Patagonian cavy, born two weeks ago.
The Central Park Zoo's new addition is this Patagonian cavy, born two weeks ago.
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Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

MANHATTAN — The Central Park Zoo's latest addition may look like a rabbit — but it's actually a cavy, and it's closest relative is a guinea pig.

The 2-week-old Patagonian cavy pup has yet to be named. It joins its parents and sister at the Tisch Children's Zoo, which offers toddlers a place to feed and pet animals, as well as crawl through exhibits.

Cavies are commonly found in the Patagonian steppes of Argentina and other South American countries, zoo officials said.

These herbivores are the fourth-largest rodent in the world, reaching roughly 18 inches tall.

They can run up to 35 miles per hour and leap up to 6 feet in the air.

The zoo recently welcomed a 1-year-old male red panda named Biru, who came from the Oklahoma City Zoo to breed with a female companion, Amaya, in the zoo's Temperate Territory as part of its Species Survival Plan to conserve endangered species.