Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Auckland Zoo seeks names for capybara pups

• The two male capybara pups were born on June 7, but don't yet have names.
• Zookeepers say suggested names should reflect their personalities - they're feisty and full of life.
• Capybara are the world's largest rodent and, as herbivores, their name means "master of the grasses".

Two new parents at Auckland Zoo need your help to name their bundles of joy.

Resident capybara Consuela gave birth to two male pups on June 7 and while they took their first steps into their enclosure last week they remain nameless.

The brothers, who were fathered by Kosh, have been described by the zoo's primate team leader Amy Robbins as strong, healthy and full of personality.

"They weigh in at 3.2 and 3.4 kilos, and are growing by around a kilo each week. Now that we know we have two males, we'd love your help in naming them.

"Think about their personalities - they're feisty, full of life, have big personalities for their size and bear in mind their South American origin."

Name suggestions can be made via the comments section on Auckland Zoo's Facebook page, on Twitter, or by emailing zoonews@aucklandzoo.co.nz

Suggestions will be taken until noon on Friday, July 1, with the winning name announced three days later. The winner will receive zoo passes.

The brothers' father, Kosh, arrived from Chester Zoo late last year, and moved into the zoo's rainforest exhibit "much to the delight of resident females Aunty Rosita and mum Consuela".

The capybaras, who share their home with 10 squirrel monkeys, are not primates but the world's largest rodent.

The species are known for being social, excellent swimmers with the ability remain submerged for up to five minutes and efficient grazers.

Home is much of Central and South America, with the rodents favouring dense vegetation that's close to freshwater.

- NZ Herald

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