A gated community in Argentina is dealing with an invasion of capybaras. Or perhaps — depending on your perspective — it is the capybaras who are dealing with an invasion of humans.
Residents of Buenos Aires’ Nordelta community have seen an influx of the world’s largest rodent over the last several weeks, according to the Guardian.
The capybaras, or carpinchos as they are known locally, like to eat up lawns and gardens and attack dogs, according to the report. Their presence can lead to traffic accidents, and they leave their marks in other ways, too.
Some residents have reportedly dug out guns to deal with the unwanted visitors, but wildlife officials have stopped people from touching the capybaras.
The influx is no surprise to some. Ecologist Enrique Viale said that it’s wrong to say the capybaras are “invading” Nordelta. “It’s the other way round: Nordelta invaded the ecosystem of the carpinchos,” he said.
Nordelta was built in the wetlands of the Paraná River, an area that Viale has campaigned to protect. Viale and others say the capybaras are just returning to their natural habitat, the Guardian reported.
“Wealthy real estate developers with government backing have to destroy nature in order to sell clients the dream of living in the wild — because the people who buy those homes want nature, but without the mosquitoes, snakes or carpinchos,” Viale told the paper.
Some Argentines have painted the conflict in Nordelta in a somewhat humorous socioeconomic light, saying the capybaras are standing up to the country’s wealthy elite.
[Guardian] — Dennis Lynch