We are delighted to announce that Fudge (a one- nearly two- year old capybara) has moved in! We transferred her here from Drusilla's park to (hopefully) become the very best of friends with our castrated male, Yondu.
We (Ranger Louise and Ranger Emily) set off first thing this morning (February 26th) to go and collect Fudge. After an hours car journey, complete with a coffee stop (essential for any animal collection!) we met the awesome staff at Drusilla's Zoo and got Fudge all loaded in one of their very cool crates (thanks for the crate loan Drusilla's!).
We were met back at The ARC by Ranger Iain and we then released Fudge into her temporary enclosure next to Yondu's. Fudge spent the day exploring and tentatively starting to get to know Yondu. Yondu is very excited about the prospect of a new friend, whereas Fudge is a little more hesitant at the moment!
Why did we move her in?
Capybaras are social animals that prefer to live in herds. Yondu, our male, has been at the centre since December and we have been desperately looking for a friend for him ever since. We knew that a female would be the ideal pairing as opposite sex groupings in capybaras often result in a more harmonious mixing progress and more stable relationship. However, capybaras are rather hard to locate within the UK zoos at the moment! As Fudge was being bullied and wasn't getting along with her group, Drusilla's decided it would be better for Fudge to have another chance in a new home and we were very lucky to be able to secure her. Funnily enough, Yondu was also bullied in his first home so we are hopeful that they will have something in common!
When was her moving decided?
We heard that Fudge was available on Wednesday (24th February) and she moved in today (Friday 26th February!). This is an incredibly quick move; normally within the zoo world moves take a lot longer to organise which various health tests occur and enclosures are sorted. We wanted to move Fudge in quicker as (with the centre being able to open from the 8th March) we wanted Fudge to have a chance to settle in before there are more people in the centre.
Is she living with Yondu now?
No; like with all animals, capybaras need a bit of time to get to know each other before deciding to be friends! As it has taken us a long time to find her, we definitely want to take this mixing process nice and slowly to give Fudge and Yondu the best chance at becoming friends. Check out this video of their first interaction - if you listen with sound you can even hear them talking to each other!
As you can see, Yondu's flirting attempt is a little bit too strong! We shall be closely monitoring all interaction and will only attempt mixing when we have seen positive signs that it is safe to do so. Fingers crossed they get along well and are soon to be inseparable.