Why Do Capybaras Bath With Lemons? – [Answered]

by Capybaratips
Why Do Capybaras Bath With Lemons

Why Do Capybaras Bath With Lemons?

Why Does Capybara Bathe With Fruit?

A video that featured capybaras enjoying hot baths with fruits in the winter season got numerous zoo visitors wishing they could switch places with the large rodents.

At least until winter was over. Further research made me understand that what I witnessed was a ritual performed during the winter solstice every year for the past twenty-five years.

I didn’t bother questioning the reason for this bath. I figured it’s hot water and since the temperature has dropped, this would be a good idea to try and ward off cold. But why put fruits in them? What’s the idea behind it? The process of the ritual had me thinking.

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They did not open the fruits or try to mix the bathwater with its liquid as I have seen in some other cultures where certain fruits were believed to be a cure to some kind of illness.

They just placed it in the tub. Well, whatever the reason might be, I’m betting it has more to do with the spiritual than the physical. After all, it is a ritual. I’ve managed to gather the why’s and wherefores, let’s delve into it.

Why Lemons Capybaras Bath Tubs?

  1. It’s The Tradition:

It’s the tradition to add fruits to the bathwater. I watched a video where visits were slipping strawberries into their bathwater. After watching that video, I came to the conclusion that the addition of fruit might not be significant. Maybe it’s all just for the culture.

Because if they were to be any significance behind the addition of citrus fruits to their bathwater. Those visitors won’t be adding strawberries to their water.

Besides, why would they allow visitors to put things in their bathwater? Maybe there is no solid reason behind it and they are doing it because it makes those capybaras look insanely cute.

  1. To Help Them Endure The Cold Weather:

This is somewhat true, citrus fruits help prevent colds and assist sufferers in enduring the symptoms. But in order to achieve that, you have to consume it. It works from the inside, not the outside.

Or maybe that’s just the way it works for humans. Maybe capybaras don’t have to eat it to be able to enjoy its benefits. But even then, the hot bath should be able to ward off cold without having to add citrus fruits.

Anyway, I’ve not come across any scientific research to back up the claim that citrus amplifies the benefits of a hot bath.

But it’s what they believe in so let them roll with it. Japan is one of the countries in the world which treasure their traditional practices in this present age. Having that at the back of your mind will help you digest my next point.

  1. To Drive Evil Spirits Away:

I know right, you rolled your eyes. Evil spirits attacking capybaras. As ridiculous as it sounds, a lot of them still believe in the stories of their forefathers who used to bathe with fruits to drive evil spirits away and keep themselves safe.

From As early as the 1700s, the Japanese have been observing these spiritual practices. Back then it was practiced during a period called the Edo season.

And they used hot baths filled with citrus fruits to bring themselves good luck for the next year. Initially, people practiced it on themselves before passing it to some of their pets like the capybara. Although some traditional families still engage in this ritual to this day.

  1. To Help Ward Off Illness:

They believe this practice can help keep their capybaras healthy. And when I say this I’m not talking about the cold. This has something to do with spirituality. It’s not just the cold that they are trying to avoid.

They think doing this will actually protect their capybaras from all kinds of illnesses. Fortunately, they don’t neglect their duties of taking care of these rodents after performing the said ritual.

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Japanese zoos are up there amongst the best in the world. They take very good care of their animals, it’s all superstition but they don’t let it get to their head.

Can You Bathe With Capybaras?

In all my research, there is only one zoo in the world where you are allowed to go close to a capybara without clothes on. And that is at the Nasu Animal Kingdom in Japan. There a visitor cannot only watch Capybaras enjoy the hot bath but they can also join them, a few people at a time.

But it’s not what you think. You won’t be allowed to share the same tub with these capybaras. Although if given the chance some visitors would not mind. But you will not be allowed to bathe in their tub.

There are like two separate bathrooms, while you take your bath the capybaras are in the next room doing their thing. So you just watch them while you bathe.

You can also go to their space and pet them but that’s it. And they are the first and only zoo to make provision for visitors to bathe at the zoo.

Why Are Capybaras In Hot Tubs?

The main reason capybaras are in hot springs is because of the comforting warmth the water brings during winter.

During winter, the drop in temperature can cause capybaras to develop certain cold conditions that could be detrimental to their health.

The hot springs help to keep their temperature regulated. This is why artificial hot springs were invented.

Another reason zoos in Japan love to keep their capybaras in onsens out in the open is because visitors love to watch them. In Japan, videos of capybaras taking their baths in hot springs often go viral.

I mean, just watching those lovely rodents enjoying themselves is enough to make your day. So for this reason, they keep their capybaras in hot springs during the winter solstice to bring more visitors to the zoo.

Do Capybaras Like Hot Tubs?

Yes, they do, if they didn’t, the officials at the zoo wouldn’t dare put them through the torture. Being semi-aquatic animals, they love water for various reasons. Offering them hot water in a cold climate is like the best thing you can do for them, you can read more about capybara hot tubes here

Why Do Japanese Take Baths With Fruits?

The tradition is called “yuzu bath” and they don’t do it with just any fruit. They utilize a special citrus fruit called yuzu.

What Is Yuzu?

Yuzu is a citrus lemon fruit that is native to the people of Japan. It is mostly sought after because of its flavor and its ability to maintain that flavor even after being subjected to high cooking temperatures.

The fruit can be used as a snack, ingredient, or for medicinal purposes. But unlike other citrus fruits, yuzu doesn’t contain much juice and that is why its juice is expensive.

Why Do The Japanese Prefer To Use Only Yuzu Fruits?

When put in hot water, yuzu produces a sweet aroma that the user will enjoy while bathing. The aroma is strong enough to drive away any foul smell present in the room.

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Once it settles in the water for a few minutes it fills the room with fragrance. Aside from this, it also has a lot of health benefits.

History Of The Yuzu Bath.

In times past, the Japanese have always loved to add fruits or special salts to their bath water for both spiritual reasons and health benefits.

The yuzu bath originated in 1603 during the Edo period. It is always observed during a time called the winter solstice.

During this time climate changes and the temperature drops thus making the bath more comforting and healthy too. It has been passed down from generation to generation ever since.

Can A Non-Japanese Enjoy A Yuzu Bath?

Absolutely, anyone in any part of the planet can enjoy the peace of mind the yuzu bath provides. As long as they know how to go about it.

Benefits Of Taking The Yuzu Bath.

  1. It relaxes the body and mind:

A hot bath enhanced with citrus fruit soothes us physically and relaxes all our muscles.

This in turn relaxes our minds and better prepare us to face the day if we are about to go out or sleep better if we are about to go to bed.

Also for those who have problems with anxiety or restlessness. This is a great way to bring their body to calmness.

  1. It protects against cold and also helps to ease the symptoms for those who are living with cold:

A hot bath with a combination of the yuzu fruit during winter is one of the best ways to protect yourself from the cold.

  1. It helps to relieve pain:

Two or three yuzu baths might be what you need to ward off that ache lingering in your body.

As long as it is not a headache, the soothing relief from the yuzu fruit can bring relaxation to that joint or body part that is aching. And this can relieve pain in some cases.

Please note that the kind of pain I’m referring to is not the serious kind. Please book an appointment with your doctor if the yuzu bath does not help.

Its primary function is to soothe the muscles and sometimes our muscles might be aching due to too much stress. In that case, relaxation might help to calm the pain. It’s not a recognized remedy.

  1. It fights skin diseases and helps and promotes brighter skin:

The acidity in yuzu has been known to make our skin soft and silky after a bath. Aside from that, it also helps to ward off skin problems like acne and rosacea.

Aside from these health benefits, there are other spiritual benefits to be attained from taking a yuzu bath.

Older generations and even some people today believe that a yuzu bath can help to drive evil spirits away. Thus,  keeping you safe and bringing good luck after the winter solstice.

For these benefits and the sake of maintaining tradition, millions of Japanese bathe with the yuzu fruit during the winter solstice.

Can Capybaras Swim In Chlorinated Water?

Yes, they can, but you shouldn’t allow them to swim in water with high levels of chlorine.

And you should also not allow their pools to get contaminated with certain bacteria that could be harmful to their health.

So what do you do?

Capybaras love to swim, they must cool themselves due to their constant rise in temperature.

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Why Chlorinated Water Is Harmful To Capybaras.

Capybaras do not just swim in the water. They play in, stay submerged for a few minutes and even drink it sometimes.

By nature, they are animals that like to have fun. Putting chlorine in their pool, though will serve a beneficial purpose of cleansing the pool, will also cause a deterioration in their health as time goes on.

There have been several reports of capybaras, developing swelling stomachs,  getting weak, even bleeding through their noses due to constant intake of chlorine while swimming.

Drinking the pool water is what we fear and since there is no way to make them stop, we have to look for another alternative to clean our pools.

Are There Other Healthier Alternatives?

Yes, there are. Below are two ways to clean your pool without chlorine:

  1. Use Ozone water Purification:

Ozone is far more effective and it is the most used method of pool cleaning. Not to mention it does not require any harsh chemicals to purify your pool and your pipes.

Over 90% of the world’s cleaned water comes from ozone water treatment. It is indeed insanely popular: ozone is a biologically active compound that converts back to regular oxygen without creating any hazardous residue after being used.

An ozone turbine, either a UV bulb or a corona discharge system, is required for this purifying operation. It has dozens of times the strength of chlorine but is incredibly light on swimmers.

Water that has been purified with ozone glitters and is extremely smooth on the body of swimmers. It inhibits calcium from developing plaque on your ceramic layer and inside surface by removing metals like iron and manganese.

It is widely used and is far more effective than any chlorine solution in the world.

  1. Ultraviolet Purifying Light:

Ultraviolet purifying light is a strong sanitizing technology that kills or inactivates bacteria by breaking their DNA with short-wavelength UV radiation (UV-C).

Cysts, algae, viruses, bacteria, and protozoa are all destroyed by UV light, as are chlorine-resistant pathogens like E. Coli, Giardia, Cyclospora, and Cryptosporidium. UV light disrupts the DNA of hazardous microorganisms, leaving them innocuous, without the usage of drugs.

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Detoxification occurs in an isotonic environment within the aquatic machinery, where the water goes through and is sterilized by intense UV radiation.

After that, the purified water flows back into the pool, producing a clean, hygienic swimming area. In healthcare sterilization and sterilized tools that assist, UV light is gainfully involved.

It is so efficient that it is progressively being employed around the world to sanitize water for drinking. The UV approach is efficient in both heated and cooled climes, requires little preservation, and has been demonstrated to kill a wide range of diseases.

It has no hazardous adverse reactions and generates no undesirable compounds in the water, just like ozone.

How Big Of A Pool Do You Need For A Capybara?

A standard pool/pond dimension of 9 feet x 16 feet with a height of 4 feet is ideal. There should be some narrow areas in the tub where capybaras can sit and rest while being partially or fully immersed.

Why Do Capybaras Bath With Lemons? – Conclusion.

With that, I’ve come to the end of this article. I hope you were able to find answers to your questions. Below are some of the points we discussed in the course of this article.

  • Bathing with fruits is a tradition that the Japanese first practiced on themselves before they started using it on capybaras.
  • The yuzu bath began during the Edo period.
  • The yuzu bath has numerous Heath benefits as well as spiritual advantages.
  • Capybaras are not the only animals using the yuzu bath.
  • There isn’t a zoo in the world where you will be allowed to share a tub with a capybara.
  • The yuzu bath is not only observed in Japan. Others around the world have joined the ritual.
  • Chlorinated water is not safe for capybaras. There are other alternatives.

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Thank you and good luck.



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