Creature Control Truck

South American Rodent Invades California

It seems the world’s largest rodent, the South American capybara, has been sighted in southern California. A technician who works at a water treatment plant in Paso Robles, California, was near a solid-waste pond when he spotted something emerging from the murky water…

The creature was a capybara, a South American rodent that can grow up to 4 feet long and weigh up to 120 pounds. Capybaras are the world’s largest rodents. They are semi-aquatic creatures who feed on grass and freshwater plants and typically live in the marshlands and swamps of South America. Capybaras have been sighted in California before; some wildlife control specialists believe that the Paso Robles capybara is the same creature from the other previous sightings. A capybara sighting at a golf course in 2008 was dismissed as a beaver until the recent sighting of the creature on Paso Robles confirmed its identity.

Since capybara’s are not native to Mexico or Central America, it is highly unlikely that the creature would have came into California via natural migration. It is more likely that it was being kept as an exotic pet and escaped.

The capybara is not dangerous, although sighting of the 120 pound rodent understandably unnerve some. The capybara is a distant relative of the guinea pig.

Click here for more information from NBC LA.