Nutria, immediately looked at with suspicion if not with horror, but not always rightly. There are animals much more "disgusting" and harmful than the nutria which unfortunately has now become unwelcome. There has been a bit of "fake news" about her too, let's look at them with an objective curious look characteristics of this animal. It is a large rodent native to South America, it eats vegetarian with few exceptions and is a lover of water.
Big is big and can't be blamed for it. Nutria, scientific name Myocastor coypus, he's more of a beaver than a big rat. Even if it arrives from South and Central America to Europe this animal has spread well, above all because it is widely used in fur, too in Italy it is very present.
It is called giant because it can be 40 to 60 cm long and weigh approx 7-10 kg, its head is very large and with a short muzzle, the 30-45 cm long tail is cylindrical with few hairs while more short and squat I'm "Legs" and the legs, five-toed. The rear ones are equipped with swimming membrane.
In its parts, but also in ours, the nutria prefers areas near rivers and canals, shores of lakes and marshes, to be able to spend most of his time in the water. There he is more at ease than on land, moves quickly and with agility.
The idea that the nutria is a is not new vehicle of contagion. The rumor has spread following the fact that some specimens of this animal a few years ago tested positive for the leptospirosis virus. From the official point of view, however, fears and "fake news" aside, this animal does not play a epidemiological role of environmental diffuser of primary infection but only "secondary and occasional".
Another reason why the nutria is not well seen is the fact that it can threaten aquatic fauna and, above all, some types of crops. Those of sugar beets, for example, such as those of corn and potatoes. This has led many to want it eliminate from the territory, Also in Italy.
In truth there are not many black otters because, basically, they have a color hair brown and basically soft, in fact the fur is desired.
Furthermore, they are very keen on their hair, the nutria, which pass by long periods of dedicating oneself only to cleansing the body: they groom their fur with care with their front legs as if they were combing their hair and preparing to go out.
We saw that partly for the illnesses that it could lead, partly due to the damage it could do to cultivated fields, the nutria is not well regarded. It arrived in Italy at the beginning of the years Twenty in Piedmont, for the production of furs, today it is widespread in central and northern Italy, in smaller quantities in the south and in the islands, and is therefore a species considered naturalized, according to Law 157/92, not huntable.
There have been attempts however eliminate it, recent: in 2014 a circular was issued which legalized the extermination and torture of otters even within protected areas and beyond outside the hunting season. In 2016, everything was revoked because it was considered illegitimate and colony control projects of otters are progressing through the sterilization.
Nutria: what it eats
Water lover and almost totally vegetarian, the nutria eats with the help of its front legs and resting on its elbows, or sitting on its hind limbs. Like? Takes grass or parts of plants, bathes them before ingesting them, and often fills his mouth with as much weed as possible and then runs to soak everything in water. It is a somewhat comical show, every now and then it plunges to the bottom, from where it tears the plants to bring them to the surface and chew them more calmly. Sometimes this animal causes hunger, it can also damage our crops, so it's better to know how to protect the garden from nutria. An animal similar to the nutria but which instead requires protection and does not destroy gardens is the capybara. Do you know him?
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