The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has issued a warning about a large rodent found to have been reproducing in the San Joaquin Valley recently.
The nutria is a large rodent that spends most of its time in or near water and can weigh up to 20 pounds. They can also reach a length of two feet and have tails one to two feet long.
The nutria is said to have light to dark brown fur and resembles beavers. An adult nutria can be about one-third their size.
These animals are destructive too. They can consume 25 percent of their body weight in vegetation a day, but they waste and destroy ten times that.
Since they don't build dens but rather burrow, they can be destructive to infrastructure as well.
Their destructive eating habits aren't the only thing threatening livestock and people's health. Nutrias can carry tuberculosis, septicemia and tapeworms.