Our three new agouti, Shakira, Lupe, and Bonita have arrived!
Agouti are primarily vegetarian and feast on a range of fruits, seeds, roots and nuts.
Although they are more than twice the size of their rodent cousins, the guinea pig, something they have in common is that they have teeth that are constantly growing their whole lives. Renowned for their strong teeth - they’re the only species that can chew through the tough outer shell of a Brazil nut!
As a result of this amazing feat, agouti contribute to the health and well-being of the rainforest (they hail from the rainforests of Central and South America) and therefore the communities of people that make their living from it.
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!
Two agouti species are endangered due to hunting and habitat loss, and if agouti populations decline the rainforest will suffer as a consequence.
You can help at home by buying rainforest friendly paper products that are endorsed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
Many toilet paper brands are also endorsed by these de-forestation free labels - check the packaging at your supermarket before your purchase.
See our female agouti settling in to their new habitat The Rainforest with their habitat mates our Cotton top tamarin.