Baby capybaras welcomed to Shepreth Wildlife Park
- Credit: Sandra Ortuño
Shepreth Wildlife Park has announced the birth of two baby capybaras.
The new arrivals were discovered at 8.30am last Monday by their keeper Yve Morrin.
Yve, who has worked at the park for four years, had suspected the female, ‘Jinx’, was pregnant. She had been gaining weight, although Yve admittted "she could have just been getting fat".
The new mum put on 14lbs prior to the birth whereas Paz, the male, had remained the same.
Jinx is seven years old, which Yve explained is practically middle-aged for capybaras, and is a first-time mum.
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Paz, on the other hand, is five years Jinx’s junior. At just two years old ‘’he’d only just reached puberty’’, Yve said, but was ‘‘old enough to know what he needed to do’’.
The romance between Jinx and Paz got off to a bumpy start. Yve said: "She wanted to kill him. It was hate at first sight," but plucky Paz kept ‘following her and following her’". His persistence finally paid off and he is showing a real interest in his offspring.
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Capybaras come from the Amazon and can give birth all year round. Hailing from a warmer climate, giving birth in winter is not ideal. The new family are currently being kept warm with lots of heating.
The unnamed babies are about the size of an adult wild rabbit, and adults grow to the height of a medium sized dog.
Yve explained they ‘‘make cute little guinea pig sounds’’, which can seem unusual coming from a relatively large animal.
She added: ‘‘They're very cute but their feet are disproportionally large which can make them look clumsy."
Four otter pups were also born over Christmas, giving the park an additional boost.
Shepreth is currently closed under the lockdown restrictions. They are working with a skeleton crew of essential workers and are reliant on donations and online sales.
You can virtually visit the park by booking a Zoom call with an animal. It is also possible to adopt one of the capybaras. For more information visit the park’s website at https://sheprethwildlifepark.co.uk/product/capybara-adoption/