Critter Profile: Clara!
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Critter Profile: Clara!

Overview!

clara

Clara and her babies!

Name: Clara

Species: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris (Capybara)

Primary Caretaker: Terrestrial Team, Alice Gentle

Diet: Leaves. Occasionally a tiny piece of fruit as a treat.

Housed: Small Animal Section, Cage 78 Wilson Wildlife Centre, Enclosure 35

Creature Features!

Capybaras tend to be known for being quite the social critters, but our Clara is no ordinary cavy. She tends to lean more on the reclusive side, perfectly happy being left with her pups on her own devices. In fact, she starts showing signs of anxiety when people linger too long in her proximity. We don't think her experiences with people have been too good in the past, but I'm sure the size difference is a factor as well.

You see, Clara is very fun-sized for a capybara. She's barely bigger than my fist! Her pups, all of whom seem to be asexually produced clones of herself, are merely the size of a thumb. Unfortunately, they don't grow any bigger than that, as they always die just a few weeks after birth from complications that we can't figure out the reason for. A few days afterwards, Clara has already popped out a whole new litter. At this point, the poor thing seems to be in a constant state of mourning, not really bothering to care for the most recent batch.

You'd think that giving birth that frequently would be highly unhealthy, but Clara's condition seems to have a regenerative aspect as well. Any damage inflicted on her repairs almost immediately, and she doesn't seem to age. We're looking into ways of helping her, but we're a bit over our heads I'm afraid.

History!

We got a call from a few towns over that there were animal cries and a foul smell coming from an abandoned, secluded stable. The locals suspected it to be the site of an illegal fur farm, so of course we sent a team to investigate. What we found was Clara sitting and barking in the center of some sort of twisted DIY lab, covered in the corpses of her children. There were hundreds of vials of her blood in the cabinets, but pretty much everything else had been either destroyed or taken by whatever sick bastard was responsible. They were nowhere to be found, either.

We promptly removed Clara from there and brought her to her new home here. It took me a lot of long, arduous hours to gain her trust and convince her that I'm not going to hurt her, but goddamn if it wasn't worth it. She tolerates me enough to let me feed her and clean her cage now, but only me. Others still freak her out.

We unfortunately still have no idea what was being done to her or why back there. Maybe we'd know how to reverse it if we did.

Special Needs & Accomodations!

Clara is housed in a large glass cage with plenty of space to roam, and a little pond to splash in. She also has some rocks to lie on, as well as a little hidey-hole that she can sneak in whenever she doesn't want to be seen.

The pond has been equipped with a filter to make sure that the water stays clean, and we feed her and her kids daily with yummy leaves and vitamin C, as capybaras are not able to produce that naturally. Occasionally she gets a tiny piece of fruit or a berry as a treat as well! She's especially fond of peaches and strawberries.

Unfortunately, part of her upkeep is also collecting her deceased pups every once in a while. We… use them to feed some of our insects. It makes me highly uncomfortable, but the alternative is just throwing the poor things in the trash.

Notes About Clara!

Date: 01/07/21
In our most recent briefing with the Supervisors, they seemed to take special interest in Clara and her condition. They asked us to give them the address for the stable where we found her in, so that they could send their own team to investigate.

Whenever the Supervisors get involved, things tend to start happening. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll know how to help her.

Date: 01/10/21
A member of the Supervisor's own research team contacted me today. They said they found some documents in a previously unnoticed secret cabinet in the floor. They were kind enough to share them with me.

From what I gather, whoever made Clara the way she is tried to profit on the so-called Kurloff cells that capybaras and some other members of the Caviidae family produce in their bodies. They're a special kind of killer cell that attacks pathogens and damaged cells.

Apparently, they were trying to use some weird magics to spike the Kurloff cells in Clara to make them even more potent, which explains her regenerative abilities. To increase the amount of produced cells, they made Clara reproduce asexually so that she would be pregnant often, because that's when capybaras make more cells to protect the embryos. And then, as if that wasn't enough for poor Clara, they made her tiny so she and her litters would be more manageable in terms of upkeep and housing, as well as… waste disposal, as they called it.

It seems that the end goal was to make her blood usable as a transplant for humans as some sort of cure-all medicine. But something caused the crazy scientist to abandon their experiment and flee.

The most important part of my discussion with the Supervisor, however, was that they think that they might be able to help her. They wouldn't share the details with me, but they want to come over in a few days to see if they can.

Date: 01/13/21
The researcher came to see Clara today. To my surprise, they wanted to do their procedure immediately. Desperate to help my baby, I agreed. Clara had to be sedated, but she has a terrible fear of needles for obvious reasons, so she made the process very difficult and heartbreaking by freaking out. She was barking and squealing, trying to run away in her enclosure. Even worse, we underestimated the amount of medicine required because we didn't accurately take her hardy nature into account, so we had to do the whole thing twice. Eventually we were able to get a hold of her and sedate her, but I swear that just before going under, she looked at me with eyes of utter betrayal. I don't know if she'll ever trust me again.

The researcher started performing a surgery on Clara, but it wasn't exactly standard procedure. They used some sort of device to temporarily prevent Clara from regenerating so that they could actually cut into her. They then proceeded to remove her uterus and ovaries. They then apparently used her torturers own methods to somehow prevent the overachieving cells from rebuilding them after her abilities return. To top it off, they used something called 'transmutation' to make her big again!

She's currently in recovery, still unconscious. We're keeping a close eye on her because the researcher said that it will remain to be seen if her 'anomaly' will try to 'resist the bind', whatever that means.

I hope this works.

Date: 01/14/21
She's woken up, and her health seems to be fine. She stills heals super fast, but she's not giving birth anymore! She seems very confused and kind of anxious about waking up in a strange place and regaining her size, and is having some balance issues, but the researcher assures me that that should pass quickly.

Meanwhile, we've cleared up a brand new, big and fancy enclosure for her to move in to. I am incredibly overjoyed to see that the procedure worked!

She tried to run away from me when I went to visit her, though…

Date: 02/14/21
A month has now passed from Clara's surgery, and she's been adjusting to her new habitat so well! She's taking advantage of all the new space, running around, lounging in the grass and swimming to her heart's content! Seems like she's gotten used to not spawning babies all the time anymore as well.

It took twice as much effort as last time, but I've think I've finally managed to win at least some of her trust back. Today, when I went to sit in her enclosure, she actually walked up, and then promptly fell asleep next to me.

Oh! I also took an adorable picture of her splashing around. I've embedded it below.

happyclara.jpg

A much happier Clara.

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