PHOTO: World's Largest Rodents Get Their Own Capybara Spa in Japan

PHOTO: World's Largest Rodents Get Their Own Capybara Spa in Japan
Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters/Landov

updated 12/16/2009 at 09:45 AM EST

originally published 12/16/2009 11:30AM

Ahhh ... That's the sound these capybaras (above) are probably making as they step into the new traditional Japanese hot spa that the Saitama Children's Zoo set up for them. Ahhh! That's the sound we made when we found out these furry critters are the largest living rodents in the world!

Zookeepers came up with the idea of pampering these semi-aquatic creatures with a traditional hot bath that warms up to a sweltering 104 degrees – not only are the animals enjoying a little rub-a-dub-dub, but the spa spectacle has become pretty entertaining for visitors, too. On its Web site, the zoo, which is outside Tokyo, encourages people to reach out and touch them from behind a fence!

The zoo's family of capybaras, who live near water in nature and tend to hang out in groups, waddle together into the bath filled with Japanese rocks and water from a bamboo faucet, according to MSNBC. The trouble with a bath that's this soothing? One capybara had a hard time staying awake!

See more animal photos on PEOPLEPets.com:
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