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Nutria (Copyu)

Myocastor coypus

Description:

Biggest nutria I've ever seen - had to be around a foot and a half to two feet long. Out foraging for food after the thunderstorms and suuuuuuper approachable. I didn't have to use my zoom. They're really used to people here...

Habitat:

Hermann Park

Notes:

My phone isn't the best, but you get the idea. I never noticed the webbing on their back feet before. Weirdly enough.

No species ID suggestions

28 Comments (1–25)

nexttogone
nexttogone 6 years ago

The San Antonio Zoo has some... they got lose on one of my visits. I don't know if it is the same species or not. I guess you have to live on the coast or frequent it to know this. I only get to visit Aransas Pass, once or twice a year and to be honest, I'm actually from west Texas. ")

MeredithNudo
MeredithNudo 6 years ago

What Ashley said. I've never actually seen them in zoos before - just the wild!

AshleyT
AshleyT 6 years ago

These are everywhere along the coast of Texas

nexttogone
nexttogone 6 years ago

Cool find... I thought us Texans could only see these in zoos.

Doug Sires
Doug Sires 6 years ago

These rodents causes thousands of acres of damage to marshlands each year in Louisiana. The fur trade in Louisiana is pretty much gone now so these guys are more of a problem than anything.

p.young713
p.young713 6 years ago

I believe it. It sounds like they are becoming tame.I think they are talking about the feral ones.

MeredithNudo
MeredithNudo 6 years ago

I can't speak about viciousness here in Houston. The ones living in Hermann Park get hand-fed by visitors and are pretty chill about people approaching them for photos. Which is kind of a terrible idea, but as far as I know there haven't been any incidents.

Only once, as a kid, and I have been on the lookout. Remember seeing it at night near a pond, and it hid as soon as it noticed us. They are far from being vicious, they are very shy.
So if you see one coming at you, run, it may have something wrong with it.

16,000 ! wow, that's a lot of fur in a very few time, I wonder how good a replacement that would be for burgers and other by-products.

p.young713
p.young713 6 years ago

I think your right! They are the proverbial scapegoat.I still think they are interesting and also cute. Very interesting sighting.

MeredithNudo
MeredithNudo 6 years ago

Nutrias weren't completely responsible for the levee damages in Louisiana - a lot of that was shoddy initial construction. But it's significant enough to where the state allows landowners to kill them on sight without any sort of permit.

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/tak...

p.young713
p.young713 6 years ago

It also says they are vicious? Agustin, you never see them in Chile?

p.young713
p.young713 6 years ago

I found a link that says Under the right conditions, a breeding pair of nutria can lead to 16,000 offspring in three years.http://www.fws.gov/pacific/news/news.cfm?id=2144374723

Yes! Always thought they seemed like the giant rodents from the “Princess Bride” !

p.young713
p.young713 6 years ago

I have never seen them in Florida, but the link said they were here at one time. I wonder if they may have damaged the Levi in Louisiana? I'm surprised they cause so much damage to crops.

Oh, poor things, imagine what would be like to hate the air you breathe or the soil you walk on... Still, I'm glad they are live and well, I always was under the impression they were a threatened species in their habitat, they are still not a common sight southern Chile.

MeredithNudo
MeredithNudo 6 years ago

When you run into one in the wild for the first time, it's definitely a very jarring experience. You can't tell if it's a beaver or a rat or one of those Rodents of Unusual Size from PRINCESS BRIDE!

Funny enough, I ran into some high school kids who politely asked me what that strange, huge rat I photographed was!

p.young713
p.young713 6 years ago

Wow, thats so interesting. I never heard about these before.

MeredithNudo
MeredithNudo 6 years ago

According to this Portland State University study, they're prone to a lot of pretty nasty diseases, including rabies...

http://www.clr.pdx.edu/docs/CLR_nutria_r...

These are from South America, they used to be hunted for their fur and for damaging some crops, probably introduced for their furs as some did with minks in the Patagonia.
I have never heard of them transferring rabies (imagine how that would go considering they live on water) even if they do, they are quite shy.

MeredithNudo
MeredithNudo 6 years ago

They aren't really native to Texas, no. Apparently they came over here from Louisiana after fur traders set them loose, but yeah they're considered an invasive, damaging species here as well. Not to the point the city wants us to report them, though.

People eat them in Louisiana to cut back on their numbers. It's not a terribly common practice here, though.

p.young713
p.young713 6 years ago

Do they invade the area and damage the native species? I wonder how they got into California? The pet trade or natural migration. I looked them up and it looks like a South American species.I wonder if they could catch rabies??

Hema
Hema 6 years ago

these have yellow teeth.
We have to report any sightings of Nutria in San Fransisco,because of their damaging ways.

p.young713
p.young713 6 years ago

Are they a native species?

MeredithNudo
MeredithNudo 6 years ago

Thank you so much!! I was very lucky!!

Houston, Texas, USA

Lat: 29.72, Long: -95.39

Spotted on Nov 4, 2012
Submitted on Nov 4, 2012

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