I would like to thank my friends Yuko Ishihara and Motoko Iwata for all the help they have given me in writing this blog. 私は私の友人裕子石原幹子岩田に感謝したいと思います。彼らはこのブログを書いて私は非常に役立っ
Japan’s most popular Capybara when he tragically died on June 3rd 2012
From my diary, June 4, 2012: I wish Capybara lived forever. I am feeling very sad because a famous Capybara, Takeshi, has just died at the age of 9 years and 10 months. He was born in TOBU ZOO (Saitama) and moved to NAGASAKI BIO PARK at the age of five. He spent part of his life in the area of the zoo where the capybaras can be petted and then moved to a more private area where he could still be seen. He was adored by Japan’s legion of Capybara fans and his death brings us all great sadness and a sense of loss. Although I had never met him, I was looking forward to seeing him when we go to Nagasaki this summer. He was very gentle, very sweet and absolutely adorable.
Takashi was very timid when he first arrived at Nagasaki Biopark but he gained confidence in the magical and nurturing atmosphere of the capybara enclosure
June 5, 2012: Stared out at the sea for a long time tonight, listening to the waves and thinking of Takeshi, feeling very sad. His death has really affected me. Especially seeing that video made one month before he died, where he looks so thin and frail, but so kind and gentle. He looks out towards the crowd, as though remembering his days in the petting area, when people loved and pampered him, and wishing that somebody would pick him up and cuddle him and make him feel better. He really was a very special capybara. I also want to thank my friend Yuko Ishihara for all the help she has given me. It was through her that I first learned about Takeshi. I must stop crying…
One time, while Takashi was eating, two young capybaras began to fight. Takashi walked over to them and gently chided them; the two young capybaras understood and immediately stopped fighting. In the gentlest possible way he had made his presence felt as only a truly noble animal can.
I always feel very sad looking at this noble, gentle Capybara. The most loved Capybara in Japan
当園に来園したのが、2007年9月27日でしたので、5歳で長崎にやってきました。 その翌年の2008年5月24日に当園のカピバラの群れに合流して一夫多妻の群れのオス（ボス）としてたくさんの子供たちの父親となったのでした。 数えてみればオス１５頭、メス17頭合計32頭の子を設けていました。 その子たちの多くは那須どうぶつ王国、海遊館、福山動物園、大森山動物園、アドベンチャーワールド、ヨーデルの森などの国内の動物園や水族館で暮らしています。 バイオパークにも武の子や孫も存在しています。
優しい夫であり、父親であり、おじいちゃんであったタケシでしたが、この冬から体調を壊し、5月中旬にはバク舎横の武の場所から治療を専念するため、バックヤードの治療室に移動していました。 口の中に複数のできものがあり、硬い食べ物が食べにくくなり、痩せも目立っていました。 直接の死因は出血性腸炎でした。
昨年武は全国のカピバラ総選挙で一位となった人気者でした。 「カピバラが大好きな方で武を知らない人はいない！」と言われるほどでした。 九州以外から武に会うためだけの目的で来園されるお客様もいらっしゃいました。
Donguri is the leader of the herd at Nagasaki Bio Park. She is the seventh oldest capybara in Japan. She is number one in female hierarchy and related to all the other capybaras except for the Boss Capy Toku, the breeding male.
She is a very compassionate and charismatic capybara. A natural leader who is always concerned about the well-being of her herd. My impression is that she does not have a high opinion of humans. She often finds them noisy and badly behaved and resents the control they have over the lives of the capybara herd. Humans control her life and prevent her gaining access to lonely, pregnant or sick capybaras if they are being kept in a separate enclosure. In the wild capybaras would be in charge of their own lives. Research has shown that rodents do not like to be controlled, they like to be in charge of their own lives and their environment. This applies to capybaras as well.
Donguri used to look at me pleadingly and point her nose at the lock on the gate to the enclosure which she wished to gain access to. She knew humans controlled access to all the enclosures and could unlock the gates. She didn’t understand that I did not have the authority to do this, and it broke my heart that I was letting her down in a situation where I was completely on her side and wanted her to be able to go into all the other enclosures to give support and love to the suffering capybaras.
One of the things that drew me to Donguri on my first visit to Nagasaki Bio Park in 2012 was her empathetic, caring nature. At this time Aki was number one in the Bio Park hierarchy. Her slightly larger sister Donguri was not in the hierarchy because, as told to me by the keeper, she didn’t like to fight. Aki must have sensed that Donguri was her main rival and she seemed to go out of her way to pick on Donguri. However, it quickly became apparent to me that Donguri was the most important capybara in the herd at Nagasaki Bio Park. She had a wonderfully gentle and compassionate nature. If any capybara was in distress through pain, illness or isolation, Donguri would go over and sit by them and nuzzle them affectionately.
When Momiji was pregnant and had given birth to Choco and Doughnut in 2013, she was kept in a separate enclosure until the babies were 6 weeks old. She missed the company of the herd and often called to them. Several times every day Donguri would come and sit beside Momiji’s enclosure. She would gently call to Momiji and rub noses with her through the bars of the fence.
If the despondent capybara was in a separate enclosure Donguri would rub noses with her through the bars of the fence. The happiness this brought was very obvious as the capybara’s hair rose in joyful response to Donguri’s loving gesture. If the dejected capybara was too far away or out of sight Donguri would sit as close to her as possible and call to her.
Donguri is also very tolerant of badly behaved humans.
Following Aki’s tragic death in October 2012 Donguri became number one in the Bio Park hierarchy.
Donguri is such an outstanding leader, taking command of a difficult situation and giving support to those capybaras who are unhappy or suffering. She is always watching to see what is going on in the capybara enclosure. Watching the humans to see what they are up to and sensitive to the needs of all the other capybaras in her domain.
For more about Donguri please see my blogs:
The Compassionate Capybara; Empathy in rodents げっ歯類での共感。思いやりカピバラ: https://capybaraworld.wordpress.com/category/animal-communication/
Donguri, The Most Important Capybara in Japan どんぐり。日本で最も重要なカピバラ. 長崎バイオパークで; https://capybaraworld.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/donguri-the-most-important-capybara-in-japan/
Donguri, The Perfect Capybara. どんぐり、パーフェクトカピバラ。: https://capybaraworld.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/donguri-the-perfect-capybara-%e3%81%a9%e3%82%93%e3%81%90%e3%82%8a%e3%80%81%e3%83%91%e3%83%bc%e3%83%95%e3%82%a7%e3%82%af%e3%83%88%e3%82%ab%e3%83%94%e3%83%90%e3%83%a9%e3%80%82/
Videos which feature Donguri:
Donguri Capybara What Are You Doing?どんぐりカピバラあなたは何をしているのか？
Momiji has been out of the herd for possibly as long as 12 weeks while she was giving birth. This video was made on Momiji’s first day back with the herd, with her babies are Choco and Doughnut and Ayu’s baby Macaroni. Donguri is number one in the Biopark female hierarchy. She is a very compassionate and charismatic capybara, a natural leader.
Every day while Momiji was in a separate enclosure Donguri came to visit her several times a day. She called softly to Momiji and sat as close to her as possible against the fence. In this video you can see her sniffing Momiji’s bottom and rubbing her morillo several times on different parts of Momiji’s body. Towards the end of the video you can see little Macaroni having hiccups. He often had hiccups, but I didn’t notice Choco or Doughnut hiccuping.
Awesome Donguri Comes to Protect Baby Capybaras どんぐりは赤ちゃんカピバラを保護
Donguri is a very caring and impressive capybara. She is the largest capybara at the Bio Park and is now number one in the hierarchy. Nobody messes with her. She hates to fight so she has won her place in the hierarchy because of her presence; her imposing personality, character and charisma. If any of the capybaras need support, consoling or protection Donguri goes to them. Last year she and her 5 month old baby son Io spent most of the day on Capuchin Island away from the crowds of visitors. I’m sure Donguri was protecting her son from the noisy humans. The monkeys never, ever attacked her or baby Io. This year Momiji has often had to leave the island because of the monkeys. They are usually a bit wary of her but never hesitate to upset her babies. Momiji would like to spend most of the day in peace on the island. Because of the monkeys she is often forced to retreat to the “mainland”.
In this video Donguri sees the monkey taunting Momiji and immediately goes over to the island to protect her and the babies. The monkeys stay well away.
Cute Clever Capybara Knows How to Keep Her Teeth Healthy キュートな巧妙なカピバラ。どんぐり。健康な歯。石をかむ
Donguri, Yasuha and most of the capybaras, if not all, regularly chew on stones to keep their teeth healthy. Capybaras have hypsodont teeth — the crown keeps growing throughout their life. This extends the life of the teeth and of the animal. Horses and rabbits also have hypsodont teeth. In order to keep their teeth healthy capybaras need a diet of coarse plant tissues such as grass, hay or the aquatic plants, wild grasses and bark that forms their diet in the wild.
Yasushi is a magnificent capybara. He is such a character, so charismatic and thoughtful. He often looks worried as if he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders and was responsible for the entire herd. If one of the capybaras escapes from the enclosure he looks extremely concerned and follows the escaped capybara’s progress until it returns to the safety of the herd.
Yasushi has an incredibly expressive face and the most amazing long hair. He is very sensual and loves being pampered. When Yasushi is in this blissful state his hair rises until he looks like a giant ball of fluff, with his bottom lip hanging down and trembling in sheer ecstasy. He loves having his ears rubbed, as little baby Io knows well. When they play together, the loving father and his youngest son, baby Io frequently nibbles Yasushi’s ear and Yasushi goes into a state of ecstasy.
Io is often to be found sitting or sleeping near Yasushi. There is a real bond between them. At watermelon time Io frequently shares Yasushi’s choice bits of watermelon, Yasushi never pushes him away, although Yasushi never hesitates to push away one of the female capeybaras. It may be that just a few seconds earlier while they are all waiting for the watermelon to arrive, a time when Yasushi’s thoughts frequently turn to love and sex, Yasushi may have been sniffing a particular females bottom and showing great interest in her, but should she dare to want to share his watermelon his chivalry disappears in an instant.
He is also endlessly patient. Many of the visitors to the capybara enclosure are attracted to this amazing capybara, and start pampering him, playing with his fur, or exploring his anatomy. Occasionally people go too far. One time, as Yasushi lay blissfully on his side being pampered, somebody squeezed his nipple hard! You could see the look of horror come over his face as if to say “Hey! What’s going on here”. He sat bolt upright, and then in a very dignified way stretched out his fore paws and slowly stood up and walked away. If I had been him I would have turned round and bitten that stupid person
Yasushi is very tolerant as people explore his body. Occasionally a look of “what are these humans up to now?” will pass over his face. If the humans are gentle his hair will fluff up and he will go into that blissful state, hair puffed up, often rolling on his back with his mouth hanging open, as he enjoyed the pampering
He has real star quality!
It is hard not to fall in love with Yasushi. I hope one day he will be voted the most popular capybara in Japan; he so definitely deserves to be.
Yasushi is a magnificent capybara. He has the longest hair by far of any capybara I’ve ever seen. He has an incredibly expressive face. And he is very sensual. He loves to be pampered, his long hair rising so that he looks like a giant ball of fluff. He is very patient. People sometimes forget that he is a wild animal and do annoying things. He never bites them. He just gets up and moves away
靖は、壮大なカピバラです。彼は私が 今まで見てきたカピバラのはるかに長い髪をしています。彼は信じられない表情豊かな顔を持っています。彼は非常に官能的です。彼はちやほやされるのが大好 き。彼の長い髪が上昇します。彼は綿毛の巨大なボールのように見えます。彼は非常に患者である。人々は時々、彼は野生動物であることを忘れている。彼らは 迷惑な事をする。彼はそれらをかむことはありません。彼はただ立ち上がると遠ざかる
Most beautiful capybara in world. 世界で最も美しいカピバラ
Yasushi was born in Saitama children’s zoo in October, 2005, possibly on October 28.
His father was Umi who lived to be 14, an exceptionally good age for a capybara. His mother was Marilyn. Komari, who has just been voted most popular capybara in Japan, is his younger sister. His Father, Umi, was born in Higashiyama zoo on October 14, 1997, and died at Omiya park zoo on November 21, 2011. His Mother, Marilyn, was born in Saitama children’s zoo on July 21, 2003, and later moved to Chikozan park zoo where she is now.
Yamato is Donguri’s son. He has inherited Donguri’s outstanding personality and character. He is sweet natured, generous and very calm. The perfect capybara. I hope he will sire lots of baby capybaras just like him and Donguri.
Yamato was born at Nagasaki Bio Park, his brothers are Hikoma and Collo. Collo was a much loved capybara who very sadly died at a young age. Yamato first moved to Torius Friendly Zoo in Fukuoka, a sister zoo to Nagasaki Bio Park. In July 2012, he moved to Saitama.
Yamato is Boss Capybara at Saitama Zoo. ヤマトは埼玉の動物園でカピバラのボスです。
Yamato was born at Nagasaki Bio Park, he is the brother of Fujiko. Yamato was born on the 1 August 2007. His mother is Donguri, his father is Be-be
大和は長崎バイオパークで生まれた。 彼は不二子の兄です。大和は2007年8月1日に生まれた。 彼の母親はどんぐりです。彼の父親は、Be-Beであることです
For more information about Yamato and Koharu, visit this link to the website of Omiya Zoo
HIKOMA and KOMARI 彦馬と小毬
I am very grateful to Yuko Ishihara for all the information and photographs about Hikoma and Komari
Hikoma is Boss Capybara at Saitama Child Animal Nature Park. 彦馬は埼玉子供動物自然公園でカピバラのボスです
Hikoma is a very sweet, timid male capybara. His wife Komari has given birth five times to his babies. After she gives birth she becomes very nervous and attacks Hikoma. He is very gentlemanly and does not fight back even though he gets injured by her. He doesn’t give up on her, and he still loves her. Komari gave birth on 4 October. Hikoma has now been separated from her while he recovers from his latest injury and waits for her to settle down. Both Hikoma and Komari are very popular and famous capybaras in Japan.
Komari has been voted most popular capybara in Japan this year, 2012. Perhaps she will become a role model for all women in Japan!
Komari is a wonderful mother and creates a very happy and stable environment for her babies to grow up in. Seeing her with her babies is a most beautiful and uplifting experience.
Komari has given birth to quadruplets four times, and to twins once. They are all Hikoma’s children. After she gives birth Komari becomes very nervous. However she is a very good mother and all of her children grow up to be very healthy.
Komari was born in Saitama children’s zoo on February 14, 2008.
There are many fans of Saitama Zoo who remember Komari from when she was baby.
When Komari became a mother this was a very joyful time for her many fans and admirers
The dates on which Komari gave birth are:
October 29, 2010 ( two sons and two daughters )
April 21, 2011 ( one son and three daughters )
October 4, 2011 ( one son and three daughters )
April 18, 2012 ( four daughters )
October 4, 2012 ( one son and one daughter )
I believe that Japanese zoos like Nagasaki Bio Park are the reason why capybaras are so appreciated in Japan. To be able to go into an enclosure and be greeted by 15 friendly capybaras who have no intention of biting you, but rather are looking forward to being petted by you, and fed by you, is the most rewarding experience any capybara lover could imagine. Capybaras are very sensual and social. As you pamper them they will roll over on their back, exposing their cute, pink tummies and their hair will poof up in the most amazing way, until they end up looking like a giant ball of fluff. This is especially true of Yasushi, Boss Capy, at Nagasaki Bio Park.
Additionally, in Japan there is a cartoon character called ”Capybara-san”. This has bought capybaras to a very wide audience, and these people then go to visit zoos to see the capybara and discover for themselves just what phenomenal animals they are. The genuine capybara aficionados rather look down on ‘capybara san’ because it is not a real capybara.
This understanding of, and appreciation of capybaras in Japan, puts Japan in a class of its own as far as I’m concerned. Nagasaki Bio Park was set up by the Japanese minister for agriculture in 1985. As Minister of agriculture he was familiar with capybaras, which had been brought to Japan from Venezuela as a source of meat and protein. However, their enormous appeal as animals could not escape anyone’s notice, and this far outweighed their ‘use’ in agriculture. So capybaras were introduced to Nagasaki Bio Park. Over the years the friendliest and most peaceful capybaras were selectively bred, so that 10 years ago the Bio Park felt confident it could open an enclosure and allow visitors inside to mingle with, and enjoy the company of the capybaras. This has been a huge success and Nagasaki Bio Park has become known throughout the world as THE Mecca for capybara lovers. Perhaps the most important contributing factor is that Japan is the least litigious society in the world, unlike America which is at the opposite extreme. This means that in the early days no mother would have sued the zoo if her child was bitten by a capybara. There are about 15 other zoos in Japan where you can also enter the capybara enclosure, including Nasu Animal Kingdom and Aso Farm Land and at the others you can usually feed and pet them over the fence.
In Western zoos visitors can only see capybaras from a distance. This gives no indication of the amazing friendliness and sociability of the capybara. Capybaras in Western zoos often look bored, listless. even unhappy. Sometimes they have to share their enclosure with animals, like guanacos, which might kill them. Amazingly, some Western zoos think that all animals from South America can be lumped together in one enclosure, this is true of the supposedly flagship San Diego Zoo! This misguided approach takes no account of the very wide disparity between the habitat in the moist, tropical, north easterly regions of South America where the capybara live, and the dry, high altitude habitat where alpacas, llamas and guanacos live. Capybaras are easily intimidated by these larger animals and a number have been killed in Western zoos, which is an outrage.