izu shaboten park

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Capybaras enjoy warm ‘citrus bath’ in Japanese zoo

Netizens in China were amazed by how a Japanese zoo was indulging its capybaras by giving them a warm bath in a natural hot spring, with fresh grapefruits soaked in the water.

Capybaras are known as the world’s largest rodents. The animal is particularly loved in Japan for its adorable look. However, capybaras are actually native to the Amazon River in South America.

Capybaras are big fans of water, but those living in Japanese zoos have had to stay out of the water in winter due to freezing temperatures.

In 1982, when a zookeeper at Izu Shaboten Park in Shizuoka, Japan, noticed that the creatures would gather in puddles of hot water used for cleaning, it prompted the park to set up a “capybara hot spring.” Now the annual activity has become a famous tourism attraction for the zoo.

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(via 20160618 Izu Shaboten Park 3 | 俺も撫ぜれ。 @Izu Shaboten Park, It… | Flickr)