First baby capybara born at Sydney Zoo, in time for the spring school holidays

The staff at Sydney Zoo have welcomed a brand new baby capybara - the first of its species to be born at the new Western Sydney zoo.

The capybara breeding pair arrived late last year for the zoo's opening in December, and had reportedly been displaying "a lot of affection towards each other".

The baby spent its first few hours of life testing its tiny, wobbly legs and capturing the hearts of the ecstatic zookeepers, who were delighted by the successful birth and the confidence the newborn was showing.

"Mum, Alina, is proving to be an exceptional first-time mum, who is being very nurturing towards her pup. Both mum and baby are doing really well," said zoo curator, Lou Grossfeldt.

The capybara family lives in a multi-species habitat with 11 capuchin monkeys.

Visitors to the enclosure might catch a glimpse of the baby capybara following close behind its mum, or learning to swim with its dad, Steve.

The baby has been nicknamed "peanut" until the sex is known and then a public naming competition will be announced.