Tochigi: Nasu Zoo Claims 3rd Straight Capybara long Bath Title

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kobu the capybara, center, enjoys a long soak at Nasu Animal Kingdom in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture, on Jan. 9.

NASU, Tochigi — A one-year-old male capybara from the Nasu Animal Kingdom zoo in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture, won this year’s “capybara long-bath showdown” to bring the zoo its third consecutive title and fifth overall by soaking for a record 1 hour 44 minutes 36 seconds.

In the ninth edition — held on Jan. 9 — of the annual competition, a capybara from each of five zoos around the nation (Ishikawa Zoo in Ishikawa Prefecture, Saitama Children’s Zoo in Saitama Prefecture, Izu Shaboten Zoo in Shizuoka Prefecture, Nagasaki Biopark in Nagasaki Prefecture and Nasu Animal Kingdom) competed to see how long they could soak in an open-air bath. To be fair and precise, times were measured from when the capybaras entered the bath by themselves to when they got out by themselves.

This year’s winner, Kobu, looked comfortable in the cypress bath and enjoyed the hot spring for about 16 minutes longer than the runner-up. “We’re excited because it’s the first time we’ve won three consecutive titles,” a Nasu Animal Kingdom official said.