Christmas arrives early at Yorkshire Wildlife Park with birth of baby Mara trio

The birth of a cute trio of baby Maras has provided an early Christmas present at the award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

The Maras, members of the cavy family which are increasingly threatened in their native homeland of Patagonia, are doing well and are getting used to surroundings at the South American Viva walkthrough at the park. They share this area with capybara which are the largest rodent in the world, agouti – which is a smaller rodent, and a mischievous troop of squirrel monkeys.

The triplets, who will grow to about three feet long and a weight of up to 16 kilos, are late arrivals to this year’s baby boom at the park with new arrivals earlier in 2017 including Eland Antelopes, Wallabies, Bactrian Camels and Ring-Tailed Lemurs.

"You don’t really expect to see babies in November, but Mara will breed all year round.” Says Debbie Porter, Animal Manager at the Park near Doncaster. “Now is such a special time to visit our animals and the birth of these babies has added an extra festive feel to the park. Children love seeing the new babies up close.”

Mara, also known as the Patagonian Hare, are natives of South America and can walk, hop, gallop and bounce on all four legs - some have been clocked at 40 mph.

They take one mate for life and usually have 1-3 offspring a year.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park is home to more than 400 animals from 80 rare and endangered species including Amur tigers and leopards, black rhinos, giraffes and polar bears. 

The park is gearing up for a busy festive season. The highlight will be the ever-popular Christmas Fairs on the weekends of December 9 & 10 and 16 & 17. 

For the full festive programme please visit www.yorkshirewildlifepark.com