Sweet, Caring Ayu Capybara, at Nagasaki Bio Park. 甘い、思いやりアユカピバラ。長崎バイオパークで

Ayu was the Very First Capybara We Met when we first visited Nagasaki Bio Park. She came over to Greet Us (I think she was hungry), and she soon discovered that I loved pampering capybaras. She and I became firm friends.

Ayu was the Very First Capybara We Met when we first visited Nagasaki Bio Park. She came over to Greet Us (I think she was hungry), and she soon discovered that I loved pampering capybaras. She and I became firm friends.

Ayu was the first capybara we met when we arrived at the Bio Park on our very first visit. As we were putting our bags on a bench she came over to greet us. She jumped up on the bench between us and started to show a great interest in our bags. Soon it became apparent that she was just as happy to eat the bags as to eat their contents! I began to try and move the bags away from her, this was not to her liking and she barked at me.

Here is a link to a video of the above scene:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVgAHga-iwI

Sweet, Caring Ayu Who Was Just As Loving Towards Me Even Though I Didn't Have Any Food for Her

Sweet, Caring Ayu Who Was Just As Loving Towards Me Even Though I Didn’t Have Any Food for Her

She sat on the bench for a long time while I petted her, singing with appreciation and looking all pouffy and blissful. She rubbed her head against my dress and nuzzled me and looked up at me, we were friends. She is the only capybara who has spoken to me while I petted them, other than the usual happy sound that sounds like a gentle machine gun.

 

Sweet Ayu, showing her Pretty Pink Tongue. I think she has worked out that people like to see her tongue, so if she pokes her tongue out she gets extra carrots – capybaras are very intelligent

Sweet Ayu, showing her Pretty Pink Tongue. I think she has worked out that people like to see her tongue, so if she pokes her tongue out she gets extra carrots – capybaras are very intelligent

Ayu often seemed like a loner. As one of the younger capybaras, the sixth youngest, she had no place in the hierarchy.  Unlike Maple she was not prepared to be aggressive and fight for her piece of watermelon, so she often went hungry at watermelon time. However she was intelligent. On several occasions when the other capybaras retreated to their hiding place at the far side of the pond, under the boardwalk, out of sight of the visitors, Ayu stayed behind in the feeding area.   This meant that any visitors who arrived during the afternoon and wanted to feed a capybara, (with the pellets that were available for sale), had only Ayu to feed!  Some days she ate a huge number of pellets… Clever Ayu.

SnapShot(9)j

She has also worked out that people like to see her cute little pink tongue. She knows that if she pokes her tongue out she will get extra food pellets. Another sign of just what an intelligent little capybara she is.

On other occasions she would wander off on her own. I would follow her and she and I would spend a happy half-hour while I petted her and she rolled on her back joyous and blissful.

Ayu, at Nagasaki Bio Park. She was trying to slurp up the watermelon juice while rolling on her back!

Lazy Ayu Rolling on Her Back Blissfully Drinking Watermelon Juice:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZabUTRPGGug

When her mother, Fujiko, became pregnant and was removed from the petting enclosure, Ayu became quite distressed. Each afternoon she and Hinase (Fujiko’s other daughter) would go over to the boundary closest to the enclosure where their mother was and call plaintively.  They were often joined by Donguri, Fujiko’s mother,  and on one occasion the entire herd congregated at the boundary all calling anxiously and plaintively.

In this video Ayu is missing her mother Fujiko who has been taken away from the capybara enclosure as she is pregnant. She is hidden away, out of sight, in an enclosure on a rocky hillside which adjoins the capybara enclosure. Every afternoon Ayu and Hinase, Fujiko’s other daughter, go over to the boundary between the two enclosures and hold a plaintive vigil, calling anxiously to their mother.   You can see Ayu thinking about how she can get into her mother’s enclosure. She investigates the metal wire keeping the gate closed. She has a little chew, but decides it is indestructible, unfortunately.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_40iK1Xljrw

Ayu is sad because Fujiko, her mother, has disappeared from the enclosure. Fujiko is pregnant and has been moved to a new enclosure for safekeeping. Here she is sitting at the boundary with Fujiko's new enclosure calling plaintively

Ayu is sad because Fujiko, her mother, has disappeared from the enclosure. Fujiko is pregnant and has been moved to a new enclosure for safekeeping. Here she is sitting at the boundary with Fujiko’s new enclosure calling plaintively

Ayu was a good daughter and a very caring and responsible capybara.  After Aki’s babies, Yuzu, Zabon, Cypress and Hinoki were born in November 2011, Ayu often looked after them, playing with them and keeping an eye on them to make sure they didn’t get into trouble.

SnapShot(193) cr jj

On one occasion at watermelon time Ayu was very hungry.  She goes up to a nearby watermelon tray, but a huge nose appears in her face. She feels completely intimidated and jumps away. She goes over to another watermelon tray, but here too she is pushed away. She decides to have one last attempt to get a tiny morsel of watermelon and approaches a tray where Maple, two months her junior, has the tray all to herself. But Maple will fight for her watermelon against all comers, even Aki. She can be quite aggressive unlike Ayu, and once again Ayu is defeated. Ayu wanders off sadly on her own, and sits forlornly at the edge of the enclosure.  I go over to her with a handful of pellets, and rub her under the chin. She raises her head and gives me the most enchanting look.

Ayu Cleaning Her Toes. A Huge Insect Had Just Bitten Her, Leaving a Large Puddle of Bright Red Blood on Her Toe

Ayu Cleaning Her Toes. A Huge Insect Had Just Bitten Her, Leaving a Large Puddle of Bright Red Blood on Her Toe

Poor Ayu, with her sweet nature she seems destined to be at the bottom of the capybara hierarchy and will often go hungry at watermelon time.

スイカ一度機会に鮎はとても空腹だった。彼女は近くのスイカトレイに上がるが、巨大な鼻は彼女の顔に表示されます。彼女は完全に脅迫と離れてジャンプ感じ。彼女は別のスイカトレイに上なりますが、ここでも彼女は離れてプッシュされます。彼女はスイカの小さな一口を取得する最後の試みを持っていることを決定し、メープル、二ヶ月彼女後輩が、自分自身へのすべてのトレイを持ってトレイに近づく。しかしメープルアユとは異なり、非常に積極的なことができ、再びあゆは敗北します。彼女は自分で悲しいオフさまよう、および筐体の端にわびしく座っ。私はペレットの一握りで彼女の所へ行くと、あごの下に彼女をこする。彼女は頭を上げ、私に甘い外観を与える。

When I visited her in August, 2012 she had a long, thick black scar running across her left side but within a year it had disappeared. I have no idea how she got the injury but it looked as if it might have been quite a deep cut.

Sweet Ayu, Macaroni's mother. She along with Donguri were gentle capybaras who didn't like to fight

Sweet Ayu, Macaroni’s mother. She along with Donguri were gentle capybaras who didn’t like to fight

Ayu is quite a character and a favourite with many of the regulars to the Bio Park.

On June 15, 2013 Ayu gave birth to little Macaroni. Unfortunately Ayu did not produce any milk so Macaroni was nursed by Momiji who had recently given birth to Choco and Doughnut. In the wild capybaras go in for Alloparenting so it was quite natural for Momiji to let baby Macaroni suckle.

Little Macaroni when he was 2 months old

Little Macaroni when he was 2 months old

In May 2015 Ayu and Macaroni moved to Trius Zoo in Fukuoka. As Macaroni had not had enough colostrum immediately after he was born he is very small. He seems very healthy and eats well, though he eats very slowly and is a fussy eater. I think Trius zoo will suit Macaroni very well. He will not be in competition with twelve other capybaras for food, and will enjoy the extra attention he gets from both visitors and keepers.

Ayu’s mother is Fujiko and her father is Yasushi. She was born on 21 April, 2012.   Her hair is quite long but not as long as Yasushi or Maple.

Ayu  Rubs Noses With Maple

Ayu Rubs Noses With Maple

Links to videos of Ayu:

Lazy Ayu Rolling on Her Back Blissfully Drinking Watermelon Juice:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZabUTRPGGug

This is the video of Ayu jumping onto the bench beside me to inspect our bags:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVgAHga-iwI

In this video Ayu is missing her mother Fujiko who has been taken away from the capybara enclosure as she is pregnant.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_40iK1Xljrw

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