The domesticated guinea pig is a common household pet. They are renowned for their friendly temperament and are one of the only animals in the park that are comfortable being handled.
Their closest wild relative is thought to be the montane guinea pig (Cavia tschudii). These small, shy rodents live high in the Andean mountains in South America and are a staple part of the local diet in this region.They were first introduced to Europe in the 16th century and quickly became popular as pets. They have since been selectively bred to form a wide variety of colour and fur types.
The wild montane guinea pig lives in rocky areas and will dig burrows in the ground, they would hide in their burrows and under rocks to avoid predators. Pet guinea pigs to this day enjoy hiding in small dark places including under their owner’s sofas!