our animals

Guinea Pig

Cavia Porcellus

Guinea pigs are a domesticated species of rodent from the cavy family. Despite their name they are not pigs, nor do they come from Guinea. The species actually originated in the Andes where they were first domesticated as early 5000 BC. They were brought to Europe as pets and are still a popular choice today due to their docile nature and responsiveness to being handled and fed, all of which makes them relatively easy to care for.

How the animals came to be called pigs is not clear. They are built somewhat like pigs, with large heads relative to their bodies, stout necks, and rounded rumps and with no tail of any consequence. They also emit sounds which are very similar to those made by pigs, and they also spend a large amount of time eating. The guinea may arise from the fact that in the 16th Century these animals were brought to Europe via Guinea. This may have led to the misconception that this is where they were from.

A Guinea pig’s sight is not as good as hat of a human, but they have a wider range of vision (about 340°) and see in partial colour. They have well-developed senses of hearing, smell, and touch. Vocalisation is the major form of communication.

guinea pig

fun facts

Conservation Status:



Originated in the Andes




Grass, hay, grains, and vegetables






59-72 days

Life Span:

4-8 yrs