Adorable agouti are the first of their kind to be born in the UK

Last updated at 13:44 27 March 2008

Living up to their secretive nature, these two newborn agouti are shying away from the limelight.

In the wild, they can usually be found hiding in burrows, but at their new home in Newquay Zoo, a warm blanket, shoe or pocket is just as ideal.

The adorable creatures, part of the guinea pig family, are the first of their species to be born in the UK.

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Playful: The two agouti boys are the first of their species to be born in the UK

They usually inhabit rainforests in Southeast Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, and are regarded as the only species that can open Brazil nuts - thanks to their strength and exceptionally sharp teeth.

Staff at the zoo have been waiting for two years for their only breeding agouti couple to mate.

And the wait finally paid off when the two tiny creatures, which are the smallest of the ten agouti species in the world, were born three weeks ago.

The boys are hairy rump - or black-backed - agouti.

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Wrapped up: The agouti have been kept warm after they were born outside in the cold

Michelle Turton, marketing manager at the zoo, in Cornwall, said today: “The babies have been hand reared and brought inside as the mum gave birth to them outside and it was too cold.

“They are doing well and are putting on weight quickly. We are slowly taking them outside in the sunshine and they have been running around this morning."