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Capybara births after breeding programme at Port Lympne wildlife park

By Molly Mileham-Chappell

A wildlife park in Kent is celebrating a 'baby boom' with 15 births of one species.

Port Lympne Reserve, just outside of Hythe, saw 15 births of capybara kits after it welcomed an adult male from its sister park, Howletts near Canterbury and three adult females.

They joined the South American Experience at the Reserve in spring last year.

The new capybara at Port Lympne (3395806)
The new capybara at Port Lympne (3395806)

Simon Jeffery, animal director said: "We were hopeful that the capybara would breed, and they have surpassed themselves!

"The youngsters are all in fine form and can often be seen jumping in and out of their watering hole, playing in the water and exploring the undergrowth.

"Although they never stray too far from the watchful eyes of their parents."

The capybara family share their home with Vicugna, lowland tapirs and rhea birds.

The new capybara at Port Lympne (3395808)
The new capybara at Port Lympne (3395808)

He added: "Our South American Experience is fast becoming a capybara kingdom, but the other residents all seem to get along well with them and the kits are not causing too much chaos!"

Capybara are the largest rodent in the world, native to South America they are semi aquatic animals, preferring to live in wetlands and marshes.

Females give birth to between one and eight kits, although the average number born is four.

The new capybara at Port Lympne (3395810)
The new capybara at Port Lympne (3395810)

Visitors to the 600 acre wild life reserve this summer will be able to see the pups from the safari trucks.

For more information visit www.aspinallfoundation.org/portlympne

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