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Capybara at Kochi aquarium believed female actually a male

Baara the capybara is seen at Katsurahama Aquarium in the city of Kochi in this recent photo. (Mainichi)

KOCHI -- A capybara that arrived at Katsurahama Aquarium here last summer and was thought to be a female was identified as a male.

    Commenting on the surprise finding, a member of staff said, "I raised it as an innocent girl from a good family so I'm surprised. I want to hold events related to boys and couples."

    The capybara in question is named Baara, aged 1. It moved to the aquarium with Kapy, a 1-year-old female, from a zoo in the city of Tokushima last August. Katsurahama Aquarium didn't want to breed and hoped to have females, which are believed to be calmer than males.

    However, a keeper felt that something was wrong in Baara's abdomen while touching it at the end of last year. The keeper suspected it was an abdominal hernia and asked a veterinary to check it. It then turned out that Baara is actually a male.

    According to Takumi Kuwata, 25, who keeps capybara, it's difficult for even veterinarians to distinguish the sex of very young capybaras because their sex organs are too small. Moreover, Baara is easygoing and eats less food than Kapy.

    "Kapy is more strong-willed and shows characteristics closer to a male. I hope Baara will grow strong," said Kuwata, adding, "I want to try breeding them if they are well matched."

    (Japanese original by Yusuke Kori, Kochi Bureau)

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