World's largest rodent gives birth in British zoo

The six-year-old mom delivered her playful capybara pup in front of amazed onlookers at the zoo.

Published: 21st April 2017 11:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st April 2017 11:02 AM   |  A+A-

Image for representation only.

By IANS

LONDON: Lily, a member of the world's largest rodent species, has given birth to a pup, officials announced on Thursday.

The six-year-old mom delivered her playful capybara pup in front of amazed onlookers at the zoo, and almost straight away the newborn was up, running around and swimming. 

The sex of baby has not yet been determined, Efe news agency reported.

Capybaras are often referred to as giant guinea pigs and are found living in small herds on grasslands, in tropical forests and on wetlands across much of South America, where they spend much of their time in water. They can grow to up to 1.5 meters in length.

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 so they can stay submerged with very little of their body showing, helping them to avoid detection by predators.

"Although not currently listed as an endangered species, the capybara is threatened by illegal poaching for its meat and skin, which can be turned into leather, as well as habitat degradation," said a spokesman at Chester Zoo.

"We hope that Lily's new arrival will help to bring some attention to the species, which they say is often overlooked," said the spokesman.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
TAGS
capybara

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.