I have a word for people who don’t like capybaras.
In the interest of good taste, I won’t say it here, but suffice it to say that it’s an unpleasant word.
Prior to coming to Japan, I had only glimpsed capybaras from afar, but seeing as they were essentially dog-sized guinea pigs, which can also swim, it’s safe to say that I was smitten. Here in Nagasaki however, we have a “biopark”. The Biopark is like a zoo, except you can interact with the animals. Seeing as capybaras are just about the most amazing animal on the planet, they swiftly became the most popular attraction, with whole sections of the gift shop dedicated to the world’s largest rodents, with t-shirts or dress-up capybara dolls.
This coming July, a zoo in Shizuoka Prefecture is opening what they call the “capybara Rainbow Plaza”.
The plaza will feature opportunities to play with the capybaras, feed them and learn more about them, but the real attraction… swimming in a hot spring with them! Just imagine it, an entire pack of dog sized, water loving rodents swimming around you!
Now while that thought may be enough to give some people nightmares, I am not amongst them. I will be leaving Japan in late July, so perhaps before I leave, I will have to pay the Rainbow Plaza a visit to see them in action…