Belfast Zoo is celebrating the arrival of two of the world’s largest rodents, in the form of twin capybara babies. They've been named Gus and Jacques. Parents Charlie (with the twins in the bottom picture), and Lola, posing just below with Gus, welcomed their offspring who came into the world on April 3.
Capybaras originate from South America. The scientific name for capybara (Hydrochoerus) means ‘water hog’ and although they are technically from the rodent family, this name relates to the fact that capybaras are semi-aquatic animals and love the water. In fact, capybaras have webbed feet and can stay underwater for up to five minutes at a time, to hide from predators.
Zoo Manager, Mark Challis, said, “Our capybaras live in a mixed South American exhibit in the zoo. Already in 2012, we have welcomed Kara and Pancho, the giant anteaters, to this enclosure and now we are celebrating the arrival of our capybara twins! It’s definitely an exciting time and I am sure that zoo visitors will enjoy visiting Gus and Jacques.”
Photo Credit: Belfast Zoo