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Japan Photo Journal: Zoo's capybaras enjoy warm bath thanks to residents' help

(Mainichi/Ikuko Aoyama)

A group of capybara is seen being treated to a rare hot outdoor bath at the Toyama Municipal Family Park Zoo, in the city of Toyama in central Japan's Toyama Prefecture, on Nov. 29, 2020. Bamboo cut from a grove near the park is used as the fuel for the bath's boiler, making it good for both the animals and the environment. Capybaras are large rodents native to the Amazon rain forest and they can weigh up to 40 kilograms. Six of the animals live at the zoo: a mother and father, and four of their young, all coming up to 3 years old. Although they love bathing, the capybara have until now only ever had cold baths -- even in winter. The warm outdoor bath was set up for them after residents donated money toward the animals' welfare. A handler at the park said, "We want them to enjoy warm baths in winter, and live long, healthy lives."

    (Japanese original by Ikuko Aoyama, Toyama Bureau)

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