Sunday, January 12, 2014

Oh, Rats

A Nutria is a very large rodent that looks like a beaver with a rat-like tail.  They live underground as shown here near a lagoon in Louisiana where I was visiting family during the Christmas holidays.  While I was there I was able to take some pictures of this animal in their backyard.  They also have geese, white ducks, mallard ducks and turkey ducks near the lagoon.  When they feed the ducks the nutria comes out to eat as well. They told me I should have brought my rife to kill them because they are a nuisance to the neighborhood.

The nutria, a web-footed animal with shaggy, brown outer fur and large, orange teeth, is originally from South America.  The swamp creature was brought to the US in the early 19th century and farmed for its fur. As fur declined in popularity over the next century, many farms were shut down.  Some animals were released into the wild by their owners, others are believed to have escaped.        

Another hole found in the backyard near this broken pottery.

The nutria is an invasive species in Louisiana.  The state's beloved swampland is literally vanishing at the hands of the gigantic twenty pounds of swamp rats.  It is a cross between a beaver and a New York sewer rat.  They devour the plants needed to hold down the soil, and with some 5 million of them now inhabiting Louisiana's southern coast, they're contributing to a rate of soil erosion pegged at 40 square miles a year.  

Check out his orange teeth!

It jumped into the lagoon to come around to get some food.

Here's looking at you ratty!


Long Ridge Deer Camp said...

I am surprised the state does not offer a bounty for them Marian!

Lindsjö taxar said...

Uhh they are really big.
How is Millie doing?

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