Saturday, June 18, 2016

Chupacabra Found in Eugene, Oregon!

A Chupacabra has been found in Eugene, Oregon; my home town.  All right, not really. What was found roaming the streets of Eugene recently was a Patagonian mara, a large rodent native to Argentina. Obviously the animal was an "exotic pet" of someone's. How it got loose, I don't know, though the Register Guard article does say the owner was found. Whoever found the animal brought it to the local animal shelter.

Image: Public Domain

The rodent is now at the Oregon Zoo, where it is now an ambassador for the zoo. It's new name: Chupacabra.

The Patagonian mara looks like a cross between a capybara and a giant jackrabbit, Paul said. It is a rodent, and while it’s an herbivore, the quarantine period at the zoo’s veterinary medical center will require Chupacabra to be housed in the carnivore ward to prevent him from chewing through the enclosure. 
The enclosure has natural light and a retractable roof, so he can have some fresh air and sun when the weather is good, Paul said. After 30 days, he is expected to become one of the zoo’s ambassadors, meaning he will not be in an exhibit but will be used in the zoo’s educational demonstrations, most likely because of his familiarity with human contact. (Register Guard, June 18, 2016)
The article noted that maras are easy to get in Oregon -- it is not illegal to own one in this state. Personally I don't think anyone should own "exotic" animals as pets. Glad to know "Chupacabra" will have a good home.

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