Every year during the coldest weeks of Japan’s winter, it has become a tradition for capybaras to soothe themselves with the best form of relaxation: chilling out at hot springs. This tradition is now 30 years old and has become popular with several zoos country-wide.
It all began at Izu Shaboten Park, when a zookeeper was cleaning out the capybara exhibit with hot water. Soon realising they loved relaxing in the hot water, the tradition was established.
The Japanese have a winter solstice tradition of bathing in citrus, so zookeepers have been known to add lemon and mandarin to the capybaras’ bathwater.
We should all take a lesson from these adorable capybaras. When it gets cold, you deserve a warm spa day (with a hint of lemon)!