Saturday, 27 June 2009

Ragondins

Coming home as evening was drawing in, we spotted a coypu in a field. On closer inspection, it was a mother (presumably) and 7 babies or whatever coypu young are called. She watched us warily and then they all scampered off into the grass at the side of a river. I crept closer to see if I could get another siting and watched the mother floating in the water as the young played on the water's edge on the other bank. Quite charming, although that's not how they are regarded amongst the farmers locally. They burrow into river banks and eat the crops. Given that the adults are about the size of a terrier, they do probably eat a lot.


The attached is from a local web site:-

Ragondin ("coypu") : semiaquatic herbivorous rodent from South-America; it can weigh several kilos. The coypu was bred for its fur. In Europe, the wild coypus come from animals escaped from farms. The coypu is officially declared vermin since 1988 : eaten into by the galleries, the river banks collapse, the trees are uprooted; the flukes proliferate; the crops are devastated (young corn plants cut at the base to be eaten). The coypu is also called "the hare of the marshes"; it is said that its meat makes excellent pâtés

1 comment:

  1. Good to see you back in France. Enjoy your stay.

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