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The Olympic golf course in Rio de Janeiro is home to unusual animals newcomers may find both amusing and shocking: capybaras.
Capybaras are the largest species of rodents on the face of the earth, reaching up to 60 cm in height and can weigh 150 lbs, the National Post said. As herbivores, they are mainstays in Rio help keep the grass trimmed.
Mark Johnson, director of international agronomy for the PGA Tour, told the outlet:
“They chew down on the grass at night. There are about 30-40 of them inside the course perimeter, but they live here and we play golf here, we co-exist.”
Upon seeing one, USA’s Matt Kuchar said (via PGA Tour):
“It’s an interesting combo – it has a miniature moosehead on it, but with a gigantic rat’s body.”
— Olympic Golf (@OlympicGolf) August 9, 2016
“They’re massive. I saw some pictures (before arriving in Rio) but I didn’t expect them to be that big,” Spain’s Sergio Garcia commented.
— Olympic Golf (@OlympicGolf) August 7, 2016
Tyler Dennis, technical delegate of the International Golf Federation, has frequented the area in the last two years. He spoke of the rodents, “It’s kind of a cross between a miniature hippo, a pig and various other animals you can think of. Apparently, they are quite heavy. I also heard – this could just be a rumor – that while they don’t bite, they will charge you and kind of tackle you. So be careful.”
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 8, 2016
Interestingly, the golf course is also home to other animals, such as boa constrictors, caimans, owls, small crocodile and three-toed sloths.