Florida now has a capybara problem


  • Photo via Karoly Lorentey/Fickr
Joining an already robust list of invasive species, capybaras, the world's largest rodents, are now popping up in Florida. 

Speaking at the 53rd Annual Conference of the Animal Behavior Society, biologist Elizabeth Congdon, of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, says a known group of capybaras are living and breeding in Northern Florida. 

It's believed the semi-aquatic South American mammal was accidentally released in Florida (meaning, someone's pet escaped) sometime in the early 21st century.

The massive rodent prefers to live in tropical forest areas along rivers, lakes and marshes and it's estimated that there are at least 50 currently living in the Florida wilds. 

Congdon just really hopes to study these oversized guinea pigs. “They might be able to make a go of it in the United States,” Congdon said to Red Orbit. “We want to keep them from spreading, but can we please not kill them all so I can study them?” 

Well, one thing we already know about 'em is they clearly love dogs ...