“Who Stole our Pond?” 長崎バイオパークのカピバラ池は空っぽ。それは珍しい光景 A Very Rare Sight: The Capybaras’ Pond at Nagasaki Bio Park Is Empty, No Water.

 

Inspector Donguri Surveys the Scene from Capuchin Island.   インスペクタどんぐりはカプチン島からシーンを調査

Inspector Donguri Surveys the Scene from Capuchin Island. インスペクタどんぐりはカプチン島からシーンを調査

 

The time has come to clean the pond in the capybara enclosure at Nagasaki Bio Park. It is Thursday, September 12, 2013. The pond has been drained and a team of keepers and senior management at the Biopark is hard at work scrubbing the floor of the pond. A mountain of silt has been washed down the hillside into the pond. This will all have to be removed.

カピバラ世界。日本語版。写真 Capybara world  Japanese version.  このブログの一部を日本語に翻訳が含まれています。 Includes translation into Japanese of part of this blog.

浩二アンダーソンによるビデオや音楽  Video and music by Koji Anderson.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bThwl6vGPfc

どんぐりがかかっている。アユは排便。若いカピバラは島のおやつを持っています。   Donguri Takes a Well Earned Rest. Ayu Makes Sure the Pond Doesn't Remain Too Sanitary! Some of the Younger Capybaras Take Time out to Snack on Capuchin Island.

どんぐりがかかっている。アユは排便。若いカピバラは島のおやつを持っています。 Donguri Takes a Well Earned Rest. Ayu Makes Sure the Pond Doesn’t Remain Too Sanitary! Some of the Younger Capybaras Take Time out to Snack on Capuchin Island.

The men start early in the morning. It will be a hard day’s work. All the fish are removed from the pond and put in a separate tank. One large, recalcitrant fish jumps out of the tank and has to be rescued by Marc.

Donguri, the most important capybara at the Bio Park and possibly the most important capybara in Japan, is in charge of overseeing operations. During the day she takes up various prominent positions to observe progress and make sure the cleaning is being done to her satisfaction.

インスペクタどんぐり   Inspector Donguri

インスペクタどんぐり Inspector Donguri

She starts the day with an extended roll in the mud by the fish tank. When she is completely covered in mud she wanders around looking faintly otherworldly. She rubs against her young deputy, Syu (Aki’s son, the only male in the main herd, and now 11 months old). Syu is a sweet, very gentle and loving capybara.  He now wanders around with a muddy face. Is mud the badge of officialdom?

Syu

泥だらけの顔 警視 Muddy Deputy Inspector Syu

Donguri is supported by her team of capybara inspectors. They make regular forays into the empty pond to inspect the pond floor at close quarters.

チョコと秋は、ツールを検査します。彼らは適切なのですか? Choco and Autumn Inspect the Tools To Make Sure They Are up to the Job.

チョコと秋は、ツールを検査します。彼らは適切なのですか? Choco and Autumn Inspect the Tools To Make Sure They Are up to the Job.

ここで池掃除のビデオです。インスペクタどんぐり監修。そして、すべてのカピバ:

 This is a video we made of the day’s activities:

http://youtu.be/36ldlwZWLGM

なぜ長時間労働を取る?とても遅い。   Why are The Humans Taking so Long? Donguri is in The Middle of Her Exceptionally Patient Team.

なぜ長時間労働を取る?とても遅い。 Why are The Humans Taking so Long? Donguri is in The Middle of Her Exceptionally Patient Team.

Extra food has been put out for the capybaras to give them the necessary energy for their arduous day’s work.

When the capybaras are not hard at work scrutinising the bottom of the pond, they nap and eat.

人間を監督。これは退屈だ!  Supervising Humans Can Be so Boring!

人間を監督。これは退屈だ! 右側のどんぐり。後ろに座って。 Supervising Humans Can Be so Boring! That is Donguri sitting down at the back on the right.

From time to time Chief Inspector Donguri rolls around in the puddles to make sure everything is to her liking.

どんぐりは緩和。ローリング.   Donguri Relaxes, Rolling.

どんぐりは緩和。ローリング. Donguri Relaxes, Rolling.

Just before lunch there is high drama. Momiji and her babies were the first to explore the pond floor, as Momiji tried to find a safe refuge for them. She found the mayhem of this unusual day disturbing.  Strange and possibly threatening activities were going on. She explored all the usual safe havens to see if there was water she could hide in, but there was not.

もみじ、チョコ、ドーナツとマカロニ。空の池を入力する最初の。   Momiji and The Babies Are First Into the Empty Pond. Momiji is Perturbed by the Day's Activities and Goes to Investigate the Capybaras Usual Boltholes.

もみじ、チョコ、ドーナツとマカロニ。空の池を入力する最初の。 Momiji and The Babies Are First Into the Empty Pond. Momiji is Perturbed by the Day’s Activities and Goes to Investigate the Capybaras Usual Boltholes.

She then decided to jump out of the pond at a point which required a two foot leap. little Macaroni managed to follow her, but try as they might Choco and Doughnut just did not have the strength to leap that high. Time and again they hurled themselves into the air, their little forelegs flailing against the rocks, only to come crashing down. It was heartbreaking to watch. There was a real chance that one of the babies might break its leg landing awkwardly. The legs of baby capybaras are very fragile.

もみじは池のうち2フィートをジャンプします。小さなドーナツも2フィートをジャンプします。しかし、チョコとマカロニ。それは高すぎる。行うことはできません。   Momiji Leaps 2 Feet Out Of the Empty Pond. Amazingly, Doughnut Manages This Feat Twice, Despite His Tiny Size.

もみじは池のうち2フィートをジャンプします。小さなドーナツも2フィートをジャンプします。しかし、チョコとマカロニ。それは高すぎる。行うことはできません。 Momiji Leaps 2 Feet Out Of the Empty Pond. Amazingly, Macaroni Manages This Feat Twice, Despite His Tiny Size.

I couldn’t understand why none of the keepers didn’t lift the baby capybaras out. The keepers were only three feet away from the drama, scrubbing the pond floor.  Perhaps this is an example of how Eastern and Western sensibilities about animals sometimes differ;  but I have seen many examples of people in the West being indifferent to animal suffering, even among people who claim to be animal lovers.  Please don’t cast blame…here…

Marc said I shouldn’t interfere…

Eventually, Choco and Doughnut gave up and called plaintively from the pond floor. Momiji and Macaroni had no choice but to rejoin them in the empty pond.

Fortunately this happened just before the lunch break. While the keepers were gone I bought some bamboo and managed to lure Momiji and the babies out of the pond on the opposite side, where there were stepping stones that made it easier for Choco and Doughnut to climb to safety. I think it’s very important in a herd of capybaras to keep stress to a minimum. And this was an exceedingly stressful situation for Momiji and the baby capybaras.   Stress leads to conflict and there was already too much conflict in the herd this year.

In the afternoon a team of female keepers takes over for a while.

チョコは:"人間は何をしている?"   Choco Wonders What On Earth Is Going On.  What Are the Humans Doing Now!

チョコは:”人間は何をしている?” Doughnut Wonders What On Earth Is Going On. “What Are the Humans Doing Now!”

New branches have to be cut, resplendent with leaves, to replace the bare tree trunks on Capuchin Island. The afternoon before, the monkeys were rounded up and locked away in their house. The two cleverest monkeys eluded the keepers for most of the afternoon. As I left the capybara enclosure on Wednesday afternoon loud protests could be heard emanating from the monkey house.   Unable to swim, the monkeys normally cannot leave Capuchin Island. They behave like a teenage gang of semi-educated truants; their behaviour reminds me so much of gangland teenage youths.

New Leafy Branches 新しい葉枝が選ばれています。オマキザルの島のために.  Are Chosen to Replace the Old Ones on Capuchin Island.

新しい葉枝が選ばれています。オマキザルの島のために. New Leafy Branches Are Chosen to Replace the Old Ones on Capuchin Island.

金は新しい枝の品質をチェック.   Kin Checks The Quality of the New Branches.

金は新しい枝の品質をチェック. Kin Checks The Quality of the New Branches.

One of their favourite activities is to harass the capybaras. They hang around just out of reach making annoying noises, plotting an attack. One ‘youth’ monkey will run up behind a capybara, reach out and pinch its bottom, and then run away. When Momiji is on the island the monkeys keep their distance. This ever vigilant, iconically outstanding mother will attack the monkeys if they get too close to her babies. From time to time the harassment escalates and the monkeys run the capybaras off the island.

検査チームは懸命に働く.   The Inspection Team Hard at Work.

検査チームは懸命に働く. 島のモンキーハウス。木で作ら。 The Inspection Team Hard at Work. You can see The Monkey House, The Wooden Structure on the Island.

By 4 PM work is finished. Chief Inspector Donguri makes one last inspection tour, followed by her team. She then leaps two feet out of the pond with amazing agility. She is a large capybara, the largest by far at the Bio Park, and she looks a trifle ungainly sometimes when she walks on land. This is obviously an illusion, for it turns out she is supremely athletic and powerful.

検査が終了しました。どんぐりは素晴らしい敏捷でジャンプします。   Donguri and The Team Have Finished Their Inspection. Donguri Jumps out with Amazing Agility.

検査が終了しました。どんぐりは素晴らしい敏捷でジャンプします。 Donguri and The Team Have Finished Their Inspection. Donguri Jumps out with Amazing Agility.

Then the pond is slowly refilled with freshwater from the nearby Nakayama River. The thick green water, impenetrable to the human eye, is replaced with a palish brown liquid. For the first time I can see the beautiful and agile movements of the capybaras as they swim and play in the pond. Donguri is particularly graceful and surprisingly agile for a capybara her age. She will be 9 on September 30 (2013).

It has been a tiring day for the capybaras. The capybaras will all sleep well tonight.

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2 thoughts on ““Who Stole our Pond?” 長崎バイオパークのカピバラ池は空っぽ。それは珍しい光景 A Very Rare Sight: The Capybaras’ Pond at Nagasaki Bio Park Is Empty, No Water.

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