Chester Zoo celebrates the arrival of three baby capybaras

·1-min read
Chester Zoo/Cover Images

Coconut the capybara gave birth to three beautiful ‘cappups’ at Chester Zoo on 18 August 2022.

She and dad Rolo can be seen bonding with their offspring at the zoo, as the youngsters get used to their new surroundings.

As the world’s largest rodent species, capybaras can grow up to 1.5m (4.9ft) in length and are found in the wild living in small herds on grasslands, wetlands and in tropical forests across much of South America, where they spend much of their time in the water.

Their scientific name means ‘water pig’, and their bodies have been specially adapted for swimming - with webbed feet and their eyes, ears and nostrils located on top of their heads.

Although not currently listed as an endangered species due to their adaptability beyond their preferred habitat, the capybara is threatened by illegal poaching for its meat and skin, which can be turned into leather, as well as habitat degradation.

Keepers at the zoo hope that Coconut’s new arrivals will help to bring some attention to the species, which they say is often overlooked - despite its friendly nature. The species has, however, proved popular with the public in Japan, where zoo visitors flock to watch them take hot spring baths.