At Deutsches Eck (German Corner) in Koblenz, we suddenly saw an animal rising from the water and walking towards the passers-by. It turned out to be Nutria. They are stately animals that you can recognize them by their round tail.
Nutrias belong to the genus of Echimyidae, spiny rats. They are considered an invasive species in Germany, viz. they displace native plants and animal species. They came originally from South America and are a bit larger than the muskrat that comes from North America.
At the beginning of the 20th century, one kept them in Europe not only in fur farms but also because of their meat. The taste is said to resemble the suckling pig. Today the fur is considered worthless, but the meat could still be marketed as beaver meat. Today’s population is partly due to escaped animals, but sometimes they have been deliberately released into the wild. You might see them today in many places on the Rhine and Moselle, but also on the Spree, Saale, and in the Spreewald.
They live on the banks of the rivers, either in earth caves or in nests above the water surface. Since they also dig dikes and cause damage, they are not welcome. Feeding is strictly forbidden, as this would further increase the population.
As we could see, Nutria is a good swimmer. The specimen we observed covered a distance of approximately 350 m in 20 min, even with regular shortstops.
They seem to be very tame and like to approach walkers to beg. However, if you take a step back, the nutria will also withdraw and lose interest in the passers-by.
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The Beast by skammah (c) copyright 2006
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Dieser Beitrag in: Deutsch