Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Non-nuisance nutria

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.

--steve buser

16 comments:

Halcyon said...

Your new blog design is looking really nice. Are you finished working on it or still in progress?

The nutia is cute. I had never heard of the animal before. I thought it was some kind of beaver. At least I can say I learned something today!

Michele said...

My first paying job (back in the '60's in Venice) was stretching nutria hides on boards to dry. I'd work every Sat and Sun for 8-10 hours; hard, stinking work but it instilled in me a work ethic that I still remember!

Columbo said...

We also have nutria up here in Oregon. Great photo, Steve.

Laurie said...

I have always been partial to those little guys. When I was very young, I called them rat-beavers. ANother excellent animal shot, Steve!

Lake Lady said...

Louisiana gets a good cussin' around here every time we see one of these guys in our lake! LOL. That little guy definitely would prefer to get in someone's yard and eat their plants rather than that bread! Thanks for hanging in there to get this great shot.

Sandy said...

Wow, I love to learn something new every day, !!~~~ a nutria. Never heard of that.

great pic.

Jilly said...

What a great photo, Steve. Your patience paid off.

slim said...

Great capture . . . I'm glad you out endured him (or her.

Marie Reed said...

I would get tired of plain old bread too.. now if they had benn throwing onion bagels smothered with cream cheese...

Tommy V said...

We do not have nitria in Colorado. Very interesting looking animal.

Boise Diva said...

I remember the first time I saw one of those, in Portland, OR. It wasn't until years later that I found out what it was. It's pretty big! And cute! And I had no idea it was considered a "bad player."

Abraham Lincoln said...

Kind of a reminder that we have ground hogs here but I seldom see them anymore.

JM said...

I've seen some of these animals in South America, in Brasil they called them 'capivara'; I had no idea you have them there... allways learning! :-)
Another nice shot!

Professor said...

I really like your new blog design...

And I love this shot- he is so cute! And thanks for the info- I had no idea what it even was until you explained! I learned something new and got to enjoy your great photo.

Wanda said...

Your picture won't come up for me. I'll try back later.

Caren said...

We visited Israel in Feburary and they are there also. The Jordan river is where we saw them swimming around. Cute little guys.