Orange County

Gatorland opening new encounter this summer featuring the world’s largest rodent

ORNAGE COUNTY, Fla. — Gatorland, the “Alligator Capital of the World,” is offering a brand-new encounter this summer.

The Capybara Encounter is a new guide-lead adventure that takes visitors to see Ben and Jerry, the capybaras, up close on Flamingo Island.


Ben and Jerry share the island with waterfowl, turtles and flamingos.

“We just love Ben and Jerry and so do our guests,” said Mark McHugh, president and CEO of Gatorland.  “That’s why we decided to offer something brand new to showcase these incredible animals, their habitat and the way they interact with our other animals.  It’s amazing!”

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Capybaras, which are native to South America, are the biggest rodents in the world.

The semiaquatic mammals can grow to nearly 4 1/2 feet long and weigh up to 175 pounds.

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Capybaras are commonly called, “water hogs.” They are herbivores and mostly eat grass.

The encounter will be open in the afternoon, Monday through Friday, and cost $10 per person.

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Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve, which originally opened as a roadside attraction in 1949. The park is celebrating its 73rd anniversary in 2022.

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