Orange-toothed Swamp Beavers

Coypu - Orbetello - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Those teeth. They are extreme aren’t they? They’re bright orange. They belong to a Coypu, a semi-aquatic rodent from South America. They were introduced in many parts of the world to be farmed for their fur. Naturally they escaped.

They were introduced into the UK in 1929. The children who went to school in my house in Orkney, when it was a school, used to farm them:

There were 200,000 of them in the UK until the old Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food finally killed the last one of them in 1989.

Here in Italy they have taken over many water environments:

Coypu - Orbetello - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

They can grow to a metre in length, including their long tail. That’s quite some impressive beast. It’s surreal to see them by the side of a path, having a noisy chew of some fresh grass:

Coypu - Orbetello - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Those teeth though:

Coypu - Orbetello - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)
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