Winter temperatures can make all forms of life feel cold, even the loveable capybaras. Fortunately, for over 30 years, there has been a warm place for these creatures at the Izu Shaboten Zoo in Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture. This zoo has set up a small hot springs spa for these creatures to soak in and stay warm during the cold months of the winter.
When this ritual was first started at this Japanese zoo in 1982, it was by pure chance. It all started one day when a zookeeper there had cleaned the habitat which the capybaras were staying in and accidentally spilled some warm water that created a puddle on the ground. The capybaras suddenly became attracted to the water and soaked their backs and feet in it. Once the zookeepers noticed this, they decided to create a hot-springs facility for them during the cold winter months.
The baths for these animals not only contain warm water, but also natural ingredients such as fragrant herbs, apples, and citrus fruits. They get treated with this luxury starting on November 19th until April 9th of the following year. After that, they go back to their original cold water baths until the next time November 19th rolls around.