World’s largest rodent joins our sports day

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We really struggled with the identification of this crazy giant rodentish thing that has now twice visited our Thursday sports mornings. It just ambles about, presumably looking for something to eat. I suggested preescolars but this idea was shouted down. You can see it is larger than a dog. It looks kind of snuffley like a pig, and has sort of hoofed looking feet.

The names the kids told us in Spanish were unintelligible. No help. I took photos to my Spanish teacher who advised it is a chiguiro. He’d never seen one and was stunned to find that we had, in the city. More investigation found that a chiguiro is known as a capybara in English. It is:

  • The world’s largest rodent
  • Only found in South America
  • A social animal which lives in herds of up to 100! (we hope to hunt down the other 99)
  • Hunted for its meat and hide, and for its grease which is used by the pharmaceutical industry
  • Semi-acquatic
  • Overall pretty creepy.

UPDATE: If you’re thinking they’d be a good pet be aware they have a range of special needs.

9 thoughts on “World’s largest rodent joins our sports day

  1. Have you seen the intruder swim at all? Creepy factor multiplier.
    In your learning by observation, have you seen it on a menu yet, and does it taste like chicken?

    1. No, in fact there’s no obvious body of water for the rodent to swim in though they apparently need one to be happy. So maybe this is an unhappy rodent. Concerning.

      Not on menus either. Sounds like they’re no farmed, just hunted. So imagine kind of like as likely to be on a menu as wild goat at home. Still, if we see it I will certainly be trying it. Gonna try guinea pig in Ecuador for sure too. Hopefully both will taste like chicken.

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