Capybaras take open-air herbal bath at Toyama zoo

Capybaras at a zoo near the Sea of Japan coast have taken a healthy seasonal concoction, known as "seven spring herbs," while taking an open-air bath.

Family Park in Toyama City cares for five of the giant rodents that normally live in the temperate climate of South America. The animals are sensitive to cold, and the park prepares a bath for them from around November.

The "seven spring herbs" are customarily taken by people in Japan to wish for good health during the coming year.

A zookeeper placed the items, including turnips and radishes, into the bath. The capybaras ate them while bathing.

Many families visited the zoo on Saturday, the first day of a long weekend.

A seven-year-old boy said the capybaras munching on the items in the bath were cute.

Zookeeper Tauchi Kaede says she gave the capybaras the concoction with the hope they will stay in good health.

She says she wants visitors to see how some of the animals only eat in the bath, while others eat outside it.