Skip to comments.Rat-Like Rodent May Be Coming to S.C. (Nutria)
Posted on 01/23/2005 7:54:47 PM PST by Dan from Michigan
Rat-Like Rodent May Be Coming to S.C.
1 hour, 41 minutes ago Strange News - AP
COLUMBIA, S.C. - State wildlife officials are concerned that a large, rat-like rodent called nutria may soon be showing up in the Savannah and Pee Dee river basins.
The furry bucktoothed rodent looks like a mix between a beaver and a rat and weighs up to 20 pounds. They have become a nuisance in other southern states because they eat marsh plants and dig through dams.
Nutria reach sexual maturity within a year and quickly reproduce.
They are enough of a problem in Louisiana that hunters and trappers get a $4 bounty for each tail they produce and residents are encouraged to eat them. A government Web site's recipes include stuffed nutria hindquarters and nutria chili.
Nutria have been found in every Southern state since first brought to Louisiana from South America in the 1930s, but haven't been documented in South Carolina, according to the state Natural Resources Department.
"We'd rather not have them," agency biologist Jay Butfiloski said. "It may take a while to see what kind of impact they are going to have."
Nutria prefer freshwater marshes but are adaptable and also find their way to cities and suburban backyards, said Louisiana state biologist Edmond Mouton. He estimates millions of nutria inhabit his state.
"We don't feel we will be able to get rid of every last one," he said. "They are just so vastly spread across the coast."
Damage from nutria to urban levees and dams increases chances the structures could collapse and cause floods. It's too soon to say if nutria populations would ever reach large enough numbers in South Carolina to damage wetlands or dams, but border states are documenting the creature.
In Georgia, nutria have been found in coastal counties south of Savannah, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. In North Carolina, the animals inhabit much of the coastal plain and are moving toward South Carolina, North Carolina state wildlife biologist Perry Sumner said.
Nutria were brought to North America about a century ago from South America, initially to be raised for their fur.
Farming operations were established in some states, including Louisiana and North Carolina, but when the farms didn't pan out, the animals either escaped or were released.
Butfiloski said a few nutria may have reached South Carolina already, but he has had no reports.
Either way, he's not sure if there's anything the state can do to stop them. "Having them both to the north and south of us, you've got two fronts to defend," he said.
No problem. ....it's going to take more than a few of them to turn S.C. into a blue state.
Nutria aren't bad tasting, as long as you don't know its a big rat.
Then again, I know a dude from Ecuador who delights in eating hampsters. To each his own, I suppose.
Dems GOOD eatin'.
Say it ain't so. People actually eat these? Oh please.
Giant Guinea pigs.
I'm sure she'll fit eight in.
Buck tooth and rat like.......yeah it will take quite a few. That's funny.........
I was walking around a pond at my apartment complex in South Texas a few years ago, when one of these critters crossed my path.
Scared the crap out of me. If I had been packin', the neighbors would have been surprised...
Never actually met a coonass, have you?
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