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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Giant rodent spotted at water works

The world's biggest rodent has been spotted at a water treatment works in California.

The giant South American capybara, weighing at least 100lbs, has since disappeared into the brush

"If you think a giant guinea pig is cute, then you probably would like it," said Todd Tognazzini, a lieutenant with the California Department of Fish and Game.

The capybara - believed to be an escaped pet - was seen at a waste-water treatment facility in Paso Robles, northwest of Los Angeles.

An employee at the plant took photos of the animal, which is estimated to stand 2ft tall, as it crawled out of a pond.

The animal spotted in Paso Robles was found near the Salinas River and a hot spring, a watery habitat similar to the regions where capybaras live in South America.

A capybara can hold its breath under water for up to five minutes, and spends much of its roughly four-year lifespan near the water.

The latest spotting of the capybara comes two years after another sighting of a capaybara a mile away.

Officials believe that was the same animal seen at the waste-water treatment facility in Paso Robles.

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