Hot springs aren’t only for humans.

Folks, we have an honorary mention following the Capybara Onsen Challenge held at the beginning of January (they didn’t actually enter, but we still think they deserve a shout out).

These cute capybaras at the Suzaka Zoo (located in Nagano Prefecture) got a real treat a couple of days ago: a nice hot spring bath full of fragrant mikan, or mandarin oranges. One of the the zookeepers captured a photo that sets it apart from your average capybara bath, showing a capybara with a mikan balanced on its head while it enjoys a soak.

▼ “The capybaras had a soak in the mikan hot springs again today. At some point, one of them put a mikan on its head…

Capybara baths became a thing almost 40 years ago at Izu Shaboten Park, when a zookeeper noticed a capybara relaxing in a hot water puddle. That turned into the open air capybara bath tradition, with the eventual introduction of citrus fruits, which are a popular bathwater addition for humans in Japan as well.

Suzaka Zoo’s tweeted photo went viral around Japan, which is sure to help boost the zoo’s, and the city’s, popularity with visitors. Netizens reacted just as we expected.

“A winter tradition. I don’t like the cold, but this makes me like winter.”
“How much would it cost for me to get in that bath, too?”
“Capybara: ‘The mikan…where did the mikan go…?'”
“It’s so clever!”

▼ Another capybara snapshot from Suzuka Zoo

Hopefully these capybaras can help you get through this freezing winter weather, too! Or if watching them isn’t enough, you could always go to Nasu Animal Kingdom to reverse roles.

Sources: Twitter/@suzakazoo via Hamusoku
Featured image: Twitter/@suzakazoo