This nutria was very camera shy. He did not want his picture taken. Everyti me I aimed at him from up on the boardwalk at Lafreniere Park, he swam the other way. But I kept walking up and down to get in front of him for the shot. Finally he stopped and poked out of the water as if to say "Okay hurry up and get your picture and get out of here."
He was looking for food, but apparently got fed up with the many slices of bread (see the upper left) that class full of children had been throwing into the water until they got tired of it too.
The nutria is a semi-aquatic species native to South America but imported earlier in the last century into Louisiana for the fur farming trade. They are a nuisance to other farmers and wildlife habitats. In 2005, Louisiana started a bounty program to reduce their numbers.
This park in Metairie with its wildlife area in the center has what appears to be dozens of the rodent relatives. Kids love to watch them.