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California faces a new immigration crisis: Giant rodents

California faces a new immigration crisis: Giant rodents

Louisiana’s red-state approach could provide a valuable lesson in handing this invasive species.

California is facing a new immigration crisis, this time in the form of large, swamp-dwelling rodents called nutria. Golden State officials are actually asking for help to deal with this unwanted population.

Wildlife officials are asking California residents to report any sightings of nutria — an invasive rodent that eats so much aquatic vegetation that it threatens wetlands and marshes.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday it is trying to eradicate the rodents from the state because once established, nutria could cause loss of wetlands, damage to agricultural crops and levees, dikes and roadbeds.

It says more than 20 nutria have been found in wetlands, rivers and canals and in Merced, Fresno and Stanislaus counties.

Apparently, the nutria’s life consists of eating and mating. They can consume 25 percent of their body weight each day in vegetation, and a female can give birth to up to 200 offspring each year.

“We have traps out. We’re setting traps. We have trail cameras,” Tira said. “We’re really asking for the public’s help to report sightings so we can get a handle on the extent of the problem.”

Nutria are native to South America, and they were introduced to California in 1899 for their mink-like fur.

Wildlife officials believed they were eradicated from the state in 1978 but now think a colony may have stayed under the radar and only recently reemerged.

Nutria (also known as coypu) originally hail from South America. The species was introduced to the United States when Louisiana livestock entrepreneurs decided to farm them for fur in the 1930s. The attempts proved unsuccessful because the wily beasts tended to escape easily.

California officials may wish to review the way Louisiana has been dealing with their nutria problem, albeit in a typical red-state manner. The bayou-centered “Sportsman’s Paradise” offers $5 for every nutria tail brought in by intrepid hunters. Given how eagerly the homeless in California collect cans and bottles for the recycling fee, the swamp rats would rapidly go on the endangered species list.

Additionally, the Cajun cooks have perfected various recipes for this invasive species. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries asked the state’s chefs around to prepare nutria in a variety of ways, in hopes of sparking interest in the under-appreciated meat. Chef Philippe Pavola of Philippe’s Restaurant in Baton Rouge demonstrated one of the recipes in this video:

If these red-state solutions are too red for the People’s Republic of California then state officials might be able to rely on a native Californian to handle the nutria.

A Westlake Village, California, family recalls the terrifying moment a mountain lion tried to get into their home through a back door.

“It was kind of scary because he was kind of not wanting to leave and he charged into the window, what? Four times?” Sammy Kerr-Jarrett said.

Sammy, 8, and his mother Nadine Young were stunned when the wild cat suddenly appeared on their back patio of their home Sunday night.

“He was going to put the dog out and he freaked out and said, ‘Mommy, mommy, mommy, there’s a puma! There’s a puma!'” Nadine said. “I had no idea what he was talking about. I’d never seen one before. I went to the door and low and behold there’s a huge mountain lion right there, trying to get in.”

The dog was safe this time, but I am sure the mountain lions would find nutria tastier snacks.


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Nutria have infested the Guadalupe river in Texas too. They look like giant swimming rats… I’d have to be really hungry before I’d eat one.

No sanctuary to nutria ? Speciesist ?

Uncle Si would take care of this in a heartbeat.

Rodents Of Unusual size?
“As you wish…”

One word solution: terriers.

I’d provide a link but animal rights activists want blood on these hunters. However, there are old-school professionals who manage terriers and keep down rats on dairy farms and ranches. And yes – a good terrier can take down a nutria.

    I recall a video I saw of a group of terrier owners in (I think it was NYC) who took their pets ‘ratting’ at nights, kicking at trash cans and rustling trash to spook the rats out and *bam* the dog would be right on them and kill the pest. Then they’d use one of the reach-from-a-distance grippers to put the dead pest in a trash bag and move on.

    I think the Nutria would lose them in the water and muck. They thrive in swampy areas where I think your dogs would get bogged down.

Subotai Bahadur | February 12, 2018 at 11:51 am

In the end California will not actually go with anything that will kill nutria, because it would offend Mother Gaia. Think of them as large, furry, and possibly rabid Delta Smelt.

California deserves them.

Oh, and the bounty idea? Where will they get the money to pay it?

    Oh, and the bounty idea? Where will they get the money to pay it?

    The, of course. They just need to invoke a “state of emergency” and the EPA will be all over it.

    Of course, as you also point out, they won’t approve of any measures that will actually kill nutria (and the EPA will support this stance), so it’ll just be a feel-good circle-jerk exercise in futility, but hey! It’s California! That’s all they do anyway!

      Doug001 in reply to Archer. | February 13, 2018 at 8:41 am

      Now you’re thinking like a Democrat!
      The correct way would be to sell the bodies as pet food to the dog fighters, or to cook it up for the homeless, or provide it as part of SNAP subsidies. Just tell the people it’s a delicacy from South America and they should embrace the ethnic cuisine.

      Besides, it would probably make great tacos.

      dunce1239 in reply to Archer. | February 13, 2018 at 2:05 pm

      Ca. will try 3 or 4 different plans that will all fail because none will involve guns or if they do they hunters will be required to attend expensive state schools that are totally useless.

        Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to dunce1239. | February 13, 2018 at 3:08 pm

        Moot point; Nutria will be declared a Protected Species in 3… 2… 1…

        (Are any of the Nutria infestations anywhere next to the predicted path of Jerry’s Bullet Train to Nowhere?)


California officials may wish to review the way Louisiana has been dealing with their nutria problem, albeit in a typical red-state manner. The bayou-centered “Sportsman’s Paradise” offers $5 for every nutria tail brought in by intrepid hunters.

Or, as a $5/tail bounty would require allowing hunters in California to carry and use GUNS (ZOMG!!!!), they probably won’t…

… unless they can also pass a $1/round tax on the small-caliber (.17 and .22) ammunition commonly used to hunt nutria … and a restriction that only non-lead ammunition may be used, seeing as nutria live in wetlands, and all.

For the environment, you see….


As an aside, am I the only one mildly amused by this: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday it is trying to eradicate the rodents from the state because once established, nutria could cause loss of wetlands…

#SaveTheSwamp, anyone?

Oh My! So many opportunities for comment! Let’s see, in the original Star Trek episode, Scotty got rid of the Tribbles (who Bones McCoy said were “born pregnant”) by transporting them to the Klingon vessel. (Tribbles and Klingons are natural enemies.)

Perhaps California should consider a similar solution — ‘transporting’ them to the East Coast swamplands, where they can interact with the two-legged rodents living in THAT swamp! Just a thought…

    Why do you think they got from LA (Louisiana) to LA in the first place?, Did you know you can (used to be able to) major in Klingon in at least 1 CA university?

In California, the Land of Fruits and Nuts supported by fruity and nutty courts, nothing can be done about it. Any attempt to do anything reasonable will be paralyzed by lawsuits.

We all know this.

I live in Louisiana and can assure you that these animals are as nasty as it gets. They cause untold damage and multiple with ease. I can’t believe someone would actually eat the things as they are nasty and there flesh is a repulsive orange color. California will not be able to handle the issue. Here in Louisiana they simply tell the Cajuns that they can not hunt them, that assures that the species will be extinct in a few years in our area as Cajuns do the exact opposite of what you desire. That is not racist as Cajuns will tell you the same thing.

    Arminius in reply to david7134. | February 12, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    I lived in Japan for seven years, and I’ve been all over Asia. I can eat stuff you can’t even imagine. My buddies and I used to call dining out “going out for bugs and beer” (tarantula tastes a bit like crab, and it’s not unpleasant). So I’d at least try it.

    As an aside, this is how I know Bigfoot doesn’t exist. If Bigfoot existed the Cajuns would have a recipe for it.

    Dathurtz in reply to david7134. | February 12, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Luckily, I’m in northern LA and we don’t have the problem quite so badly. It is a lot of fun to get a bunch of fellas together and go wipe them out when we first notice them getting into one of the bayous.

    Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to david7134. | February 13, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Perhaps we should leak the “information” to the Chinese that Nutria meat is an aphrodisiac.

Voice_of_Reason | February 12, 2018 at 12:40 pm

california democrats have found a way to turn “lemons into lemonade”…they have started a drive to register nutria to vote as democrats.

About the Louisiana Nutria:

Nutria are large semi-aquatic rodents that were brought to Louisiana from South America in the 1930’s for the fur farming industry. They now occupy and have caused extensive damage to the Louisiana coastal wetlands.

More Information:

Download Nutria Recipes!

Visit the Official Louisiana Nutria Website

View the Louisiana Nutria Brochure


They have been there for 5o years, but there are so many RATS in mexifornia no one noticed !

Yeah but to they eat smelt, that’s what’s important. They will often respond to an increase of lead and brass in their diet.

Send they some feral hogs.

Let’s get them declared an endangered species so that California will not be able to injure them.

Wetlands versus nurtria… how will the Left sort that one out…. birth control, trap and release? Maybe give them a diet they prefer, shipped in and prepared for them, so they will ignore the native flora….

Can we selectively make the puma and condors eat them… a win-win for ecowarriors!

Nothing will be done that truly eradicates them.. unless they are formally declared Republicans and then open season will start.

Could that bounty idea be combined with immigration control, somehow?

ufo destroyers | February 12, 2018 at 4:15 pm

Skip ahead to the 9:00 mark. This is how a Dave Attell took care of them in New Orleans.

buckeyeminuteman | February 12, 2018 at 4:32 pm

A nutria’ entire life consists of eating and mating? I have heard of plenty of Democrats whose lives consist of the same things.

Last time I checked in Louisiana you could get paid $5 per tail you brought in. Went to visit a friend there and we went out with .22’s plugging them we turned in the tails. Paid for the days ammo and the nights beer and food.

Just declare them conservative republicans. Problem solved.

I do not believe that ROUSs actually exist.

I can’t wait until Cali’s legislature passes a law making their environmental whacko’s label each nutria with a sign noting that “Nutria have been determined to cause cancer”.

We’ve had large rodents in California politics for years.

“Apparently, the nutria’s life consists of eating and mating.” This describes much of the Dems base. They can’t go against that. Will make some attempt to subsidize them. Do they like High Speed Rail?

” California is facing a new immigration crisis, this time in the form of large, swamp-dwelling rodents ”

My apologies for the following question if not PC; by any chance are they from Washington?

michael.scott3245 | February 13, 2018 at 1:36 pm

Nutria are plant eating rodents. So are rabbits. Rabbit is delicious. Might be ok. Definitely sustainable at 200 a year per female. (Yikes)

The rodents in Sacramento are are larger and more dangerous.

That one in the top photo certainly has some Pelosi blood running through his veins.