Adorable Capybaras Stay Warm in the Winter by Soaking in Luxurious Hot Spring Baths

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As the winter temperatures roll in, everyone is feeling the chill—even adorable capybaras. But for more than 30 years, the Izu Shaboten Zoo in the Shizuoka Prefecture of Japan has kept the creatures warm and cozy with a luxurious spa-style setup; they assemble an outdoor hot-spring bath that the capybaras happily soak in for the remainder of the year and into the next.

The ritual of the baths dates back to 1982, and it came about by pure happenstance. One day, a zookeeper at the Izu Shaboten was cleaning the capybara habitat with warm water and accidentally formed a puddle. Drawn to it, the creatures soaked their feet and backsides in it, which was enough to convince the zoo to set up these hot-spring facilities that are now used during the colder months.

Per tradition, there are a number of special baths planned with ingredients—citrus fruits, apples, and fragrant herbs—added to the water. The capybaras will begin their dips on November 19, and they’ll continue every weekday at 1:30PM. On weekends, they’re treated with two soaks per day at 10:30AM and 1:30PM. You’ve got until April 9 to witness the endearing sight, then it’s back to using cold water until the following November.

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Izu Shaboten Zoo: Website | YouTube | Facebook
via [Rocket News 24]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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