Capybaras are a couple cuties at African Safari’s new interactive exhibit

Jun 11, 2024 | Featured, Entertainment | 0 comments

Arepa and Torta are siblings who are the newest stars at African Safari Wildlife Park. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)


Vada Miler, 10, and Stella Miller, 6, had the chance to meet Arepa and Torta up close. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

On June 6, ten-year-old Kinley Blake of Bay Village had the chance to meet Arepa and Torta, two-month-old capybaras who are the newest residents at African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton. Kinley and her mother, Laura Blake, attended the ribbon cutting and meet-and-greet at the park’s new interactive capybara exhibit.

The ribbon cutting was hosted by the Port Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Laura was grateful that Kinley, who was adopted from Columbia, had the opportunity to meet capybaras who are native to South America.

“They’re small and cute,” Kinley said. “When they get older, they’ll look like slugs because they won’t move a lot.”

When Kinley met the capybaras, they were small balls of energy running through their enclosure like puppies. Eventually, they will live up to their title of world’s largest rodent.

“They’re little pipsqueaks now, but they’ll get to be about 150 pounds,” said Director of Parks Kelsey Keller.

Arepa and Torta can be viewed in African Safari Wildlife Park’s Walk-Thru Safari. Their enclosure includes a large pond where the capybaras, who are semiaquatic, can swim.

“They have coats similar to a beaver or muskrat, and they have cute little webbed feet,” Keller said.

The enclosure was built almost entirely by park staff and was designed for up-close views and interactive visits.

The Port Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for African Safari Wildlife Park’s new capybara exhibit on June 6. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“Our staff is very proud of the exhibit, and we’re very proud of them,” Keller said. “Arepa and Torta have only been here a short time, so they are still getting acclimated, but this is going to be a cool, interactive exhibit. They will eventually love our guests.”

Vada Miller, 10, and her sister, Stella Miller, 6, of Port Clinton, were also among the guests at the ribbon cutting. The sisters fed the capybaras and then enjoyed their own dinner that was provided for guests of the event.

“I thought it was really fun because we got to feed them,” Vada said.

This summer, guests can book their own interactive experience with the capybaras for $15, plus a general admission ticket, per person. Capybara Encounters allow guests to meet, touch and feed Arepa and Torta. Advanced booking is recommended at

African Safari Wildlife Park now offers an interactive capybara exhibit. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

African Safari Wildlife Park offers a Drive-Thru Safari featuring several animals, including giraffes, zebras, bison and emu. In addition to the capybaras, the Walk-Thru Safari features many other animals, including a porcupine, wallaby, warthog and albino alligator. Dinosaur Takeover features over 20 moving, life-sized dinosaurs scattered throughout the Walk-Thru Safari.

Although the Blakes visited African Safari on June 6 to meet the capybaras, it wasn’t their first visit to the park.

“We love it here,” Laura said. “Last year, we rented an RV and drove it through the Drive-Thru Safari. We fed the giraffes at the giraffes’ eye view.”

African Safari Wildlife Park is at 267 S. Lightner Rd. in Port Clinton. For more information, call 419-732-3606 or

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July 2024

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