Japan zoo uses toy capybaras & red pandas to encourage safe distancing

Stand at least two capybaras apart.

Mabel Wong | May 22, 2020, 06:16 PM

During this Covid-19 period, zoos are trying different ways to liven up the atmosphere, such as bringing animals around on their own little tour.

However, one zoo in Shizuoka, Japan manages to make the experience better for their visitors in particular.

A sea of capybaras and red pandas

At a restaurant in Izu Shaboten Zoo, stuffed animals (particularly capybaras and red pandas) are placed on the seats and tables.

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#カピバラと相席 #伊豆シャボテン動物公園 #森の動物レストランギボン亭 #ソーシャルディスタンス #カピバラと相席してソーシャルディスタンスをたもつ #ソーシャルディスタンスは大人のカピバラ2頭分の距離 #ソーシャルディスタンスは標準的なミナミコアリクイ2頭分 #フェネックなら6頭分くらい 伊豆シャボテン動物公園 「森のどうぶつレストランGIBBONTEI」カピバラと相席してソーシャルディスタンスを確保してます。 カピバラやレッサーパンダのぬいぐるみがお客様と相席することにより、その可愛らしさだけでなく客席のソーシャルディスタンス確保に貢献しています。 詳しくはこちら→レストラン https://izushaboten.com/news/5615/ 伊豆シャボテン動物公園 https://izushaboten.com/

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And they come in various sizes.

Photo from Izu Shaboten Zoo website.

But these stuffed toys don't just serve as cute decorations.

They are placed on alternate seats so visitors can practice safe distancing.

Social distancing ambassadors

The zoo also provides a handy guide for visitors to see how far apart they should distance themselves.

And of course, they had to use zoo animals for measurement:

Photo from Izu Shaboten Zoo website.

According to the guide, visitors should be standing two metres apart, which is roughly either two capybaras, two anteaters, or six fennec foxes.

Why capybaras?

The Izu Shaboten Zoo is known for their capybaras, and even have one as their mascot.

Photo from Izu Shaboten Zoo website.

The zoo was also the first to invent hot baths for capybaras.

Photo from Izu Shaboten Zoo website.

Photo from Izu Shaboten Zoo website.

Adorable.

Top Images by @chacha0rca | Twitter and パンフレット - Japan Brochure | FB.