DZG’s capybara group are under the spotlight as part of a university research project.
Student Lee Fraser, pictured above, is observing the behaviour of our six captive capybara and how they interact with the wild native birds in their enclosure.
Lee, who is studying Animal Behaviour and Conservation at Wolverhampton University, said: “The keepers have told me that quite a few magpies fly down into the enclosure and sometimes land on the capabara, which they believe could be because they’re grooming them.
“I’m looking at all kinds of birds as part of my study, but specifically magpies, although I seem to have seen lots of robins who actually go into the indoor den where the capybara and tapirs sleep, but they just ignore them!”
The 21 year-old from Great Wyrley has to complete between 80 100 hours of data gathering and is spending a day on site each week to compile his results, which he’ll then put together as his final dissertation, providing the zoo with a copy of his findings.
DZG Registrar and Research Co-ordinator, Dr David Beeston, said: “You find if you watch any animal for a period of time, they will interact with the surrounding native bird wildlife and Lee’s study is important for the general welfare and husbandry of our capabaras.
“We’re pleased to support Lee with his project here at DZG and look forward to receiving his results in due course.”