“HATO COROZAL, Colombia – They look like hamsters on growth hormones, bark like dogs and swim as fast as otters — all reasons why “chiguiros,” the world’s largest rodents, are an object of fascination for zoologists and wildlife enthusiasts. But ranchers here in northeastern Colombia fail to see the attraction. They claim that the barrel-shaped rodents, which stand knee-high to humans and weigh as much as 120 pounds, consume valuable pasture, foul drinking water and spook horses and cattle.
That antipathy, plus a booming market for chiguiro meat in neighboring Venezuela, has prompted open season on the rodents and landed them on Colombia’s endangered species list. Rancher Magali Delgado says chiguiros, which were visible recently from the veranda of her house in this isolated settlement in Casanare state, are a costly nuisance.” – Newsday (more here)