Lakeside residence for the new arrivals at Jersey Zoo

Maple and Olive, Jersey Zoo’s latest residents

THE Island’s property market might have stalled, but two residents have moved into their new cabin at Jersey Zoo…

Maple and Olive, capybaras who are also half-sisters, have now settled into their custom-built enclosure by the Zoo’s central lake.

While the pair arrived from ZooParc de Beauval in France in July, they have been kept behind the scenes for several months.

The semi-aquatic animals, which are native to South America, are the biggest rodent on Earth.

They will be free-ranging in the lake and will share their home with the Zoo’s Chilean flamingos and red-breasted geese.

This is not the first time capybaras have taken up residence at Jersey Zoo, with founder Gerald Durrell bringing the mammals to Jersey in the 1980s.

Georgia Gotts, team leader of mammals, said the return of the species made Maple and Olive’s arrival ‘even more special’.

She continued: ‘Maple and Olive have settled in really well and have definitely made themselves at home in their brand-new enclosure.

‘They are a fascinating mammal species that split their time between water and land, so will definitely keep us on our toes.

‘We’re looking forward to teaching our members and visitors about this wonderful species.’

About capybaras

– Capybaras’ large teeth, which can measure up to 8cm long, never stop growing and get worn down by their regular grazing on grass and water plants

– They prefer to live near water and marshes and have partially webbed feet to help them swim

– As lovers of water, capybaras can nap while submerged, holding their breath for up to five minutes

– Their home in South America is under threat, due to habitat destruction, waste pollution and climate change