We have three female agouti, Shakira, Lupe, and Bonita, that live in our South American precinct The Rainforest with their habitat mates our Cotton-top tamarin.
These rodents are closely related to the common guinea pig and, like them, are primarily vegetarian yet feast on a range of fruits, seeds, roots and nuts. Renowned for their strong teeth - they’re the only species that can chew through the tough outer shell of a Brazil nut.
When Brazil nuts are abundant agouti will often bury them so they can dig them out later once food is scarce. Any nuts that are buried and forgotten have the chance to turn into a Brazil nut tree – regenerating the forest for future generations!
Unfortunately agouti are affected by habitat loss as their rainforest homes are cut down for paper and timber products. You can help at home by buying rainforest friendly products that are endorsed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).