The public has been warned recently about a large rodent seen in Dublin canal.
The coypu is a large, herbivorous semiaquatic rodent. Originally from South America, the coypu lives in burrows alongside stretches of water, and feeds on river plant stems.
They are considered to be destructive due to their feeding and burrowing habits and they are also invasive species of rodents.
Coypu are listed as a European Union regulated specie of concern; they carry harmful diseases, which can be transferred to humans and domestic animals.
Waterways Ireland issued the notice following several Coypu sightings at Dublin’s Royal Canal and the public are warned not to approach the animals.
According to Waterways, Coypu are “highly invasive impacting on wildlife, river and canal bank stability and is a pest of agriculture crops”.
“Eradication programmes can cost several millions of euro and are not always successful.”
Waterways Ireland said “Its appearance is similar to a very large rat; it could even be mistaken for a bulky otter at first sight,” but unlike an otter it does not have a fur tail but a “long rat-like tail”.