London: The world's largest rodent species has given birth to a pup at Chester Zoo in in northern England.
The six-year-old mom, Lily, delivered her adorable capybara pup in front of a crowd of onlookers at the Zoo, Xinhua news agency quoted the zoo officials as saying on Thursday.
The newborn was almost straight away up, running around and swimming. The sex of the baby has not yet been determined.
Capybaras are often referred to as giant guinea pigs and are found living in small herds on grasslands, in tropical forests and on wetlands across much of South America, where they spend much of their time in water.
They can grow up to 1.5 meters in length and eat their own dung to get the maximum nutrition from food.
Their scientific name means "water pig", and their bodies have been specially adapted for swimming, with webbed feet and their eyes, ears and nostrils located on top of their heads so they can stay submerged with very little of their body showing, helping them to avoid detection by predators.
A spokesman at the Zoo said, "Although not currently listed as an endangered species, the capybara is threatened by illegal poaching for its meat and skin, which can be turned into leather, as well as habitat degradation,"
"We hope that Lily's new arrival will help to bring some attention to the species, which they say is often overlooked," said the spokesman.
(With IANS inputs)