De­voted pet owner stresses capy­baras are not for every­one

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY LINDA LOM­BARDI

Ty­pal­dos is prob­a­bly unique in the way she has made the capy­bara her mis­sion: She spends a cou­ple of hours a day up­dat­ing Caplin’s In­ter­net pres­ence on a blog and so­cial net­work­ing sites.

When asked how much time it takes to care for a capy­bara, she says, “I spend all my time with him, but that’s a mat­ter of choice.”

Caplin’s web ac­tiv­i­ties are partly fun — such as in­ter­ac­tive games of “Ro­dent Jeop­ardy” — with a se­ri­ous ed­u­ca­tional pur­pose, too. “ When I was think­ing of get­ting him, there was noth­ing on the web about get­ting a pet capy­bara,” says Ty­pal­dos. “ That was a large im­pe­tus for the blog. They’re not the right pet for most peo­ple.”

Ty­pal­dos has a back­ground in bi­ol­ogy, and also keeps horses and rep­tiles. Her prop­erty is big enough that Caplin can graze and swim, and she lives in a cli­mate ap­pro­pri­ate for a trop­i­cal an­i­mal.

On her blog, she’s hon­est about the prob­lems in car­ing for a capy­bara. When peo­ple ask her about get­ting one, she tells them first to read her whole blog, in­clud­ing the en­tries about when he has bit­ten her.

But Ty­pal­dos also sees Caplin as an am­bas­sador of sorts.

“Peo­ple don’t like ro­dents,” she says, but many ro­dents make good pets. Her kids had pet rats when they were young. “If some­one says some­thing bad about rats, on the blog or Face­book, he’ll al­ways step in and say some­thing.” ——— Caplin Rous’ site: http://gi­antham­ster.com/

Justin Damesta’s site: http://www.kapiy­vaex­otics.com/

Dobby’s blog: http://hip­popotato­mus.blogspot.com/

The As­so­ci­ated Press

This photo re­leased by Me­lanie Ty­pal­dos shows Ty­pal­dos and Caplin her pet capy­bara wear­ing his Hal­loween cos­tume. The capy­bara, Hy­dro­choerus Hy­drochaeris, is a semi-aquatic ro­dent of South Amer­ica. It weighs about 100 pounds and is about two feet tall at the shoul­der.

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