Capybaras bathing in an open-air bath at an animal park in Ito City, Shizuoka Prefecture, has become a popular winter tradition.
The Izu Shaboten Zoological Park in Ito City has been keeping capybaras, a member of the rodent family, for 56 years, and has set up a special open-air bath every year during the cold season after its keepers happened to find capybaras relaxing in a hot spring bath.
This year, 10 of the 15 capybaras currently in captivity were babies born between August and October, and this was their first experience in an open-air bath.
The bath was filled with “devil yuzu,” a citrus fruit larger than a softball, and visitors took pictures of the capybaras as the sweet and sour aroma of the yuzu spread throughout the area.
A parent and child visiting from Tokyo said, “The baby was so cute. I want to take a bath with them.
Seika Nakano, a keeper, said, “One of the highlights is that some days all the capybaras enter the baths, while other days only one capybara enters, so their behavior varies from day to day.
The capybara open-air bath will continue until next April.
【Izu Shaboten Zoo, Shizuoka prefecture】