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Public warned about large rat-like rodent that can 'cause a lot of damage'

A coypu was recently spotted in Cork.

shutterstock_376157008 File photo Shutterstock / Michal Ninger Shutterstock / Michal Ninger / Michal Ninger

THE PUBLIC HAS been asked to report any sightings of coypus after one of the rat-like rodents was seen in Cork city last week.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has trapped 10 coypus in the Curraheen area of Cork since a sighting of the rodent two years ago.

A three-foot coypu was previously found swimming in a Tipperary river. The rodents are native to South America and it’s believed they may have been released into the wild here after being brought to Ireland as pets.

The latest sighting, along the River Lee, was first reported in the Irish Examiner.

Muskrat Studios / YouTube

Danny O’Keeffe of the NPWS told coypus “can cause a lot of damage”.

“They burrow into river banks, drainage banks, and create an elaborate tunnel system. This undermines these structures and left unchecked they can cause a lot of damage.

“They can destroy food crops especially root crops, and they can eat birds eggs. Furthermore when they become established it can be costly to eradicate. They have been successfully eradicated in the UK and are currently a major problem in Italy,” O’Keeffe said.

Anyone who thinks they have seen a coypu has been asked to contact the NPWS.

With reporting by Gráinne Ní Aodha

Read: Three-foot rat found swimming in Tipperary river

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