Capybara (World's Largest Rodent) Is Safely Home After Escaping

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

TWRA receives calls, messages and emails regularly regarding longstanding myths and more. A common call is, “I heard coyotes hunting last night”. No one ever runs through the woods yelling loudly when they’re hunting. Another is, “I heard a mountain lion screaming”. Cougars are really quiet animals and all recordings received turn out to be red fox; which have a fairly loud scream. A recent message included a video of an adult bobcat thought to be a baby cougar.

  The agency has also been contacted about pterodactyls and sasquatch.

 

So when a call came in about a capybara, the world’s largest rodent, Monroe County wildlife officers Joe Pike and Kip Kite were a bit hesitant. “I’ve dealt with a lot through the years. I’ve learned to listen and ask good questions,” said Mr. Pike. Mr. Pike and Mr. Kite received a phone call from a frequent visitor to Tellico Wildlife Management Area (WMA) where the animal was spotted on June 19. Both asked the caller to share any photos. Sure enough, when their phones chimed with new messages, a capybara popped up on their screens.

 

TWRA officials immediately started calling zoos and other institutions looking for a home. “We knew this was a fluke and this was a once in a lifetime happening,” said Mr. Kite. The hope was to capture the animal and get it in safe hands. He said, “We obviously don’t want exotic wildlife running loose. However, we’re overwhelmingly willing to work with organizations for recapture and safe return”.

 

In the meantime, Officer Kite was working on an inspection at the Citico Wildlife Wilderness, located about five miles from Tellico WMA. The owner mentioned a capybara had escaped through an overflow pipe during recent rains. The mystery immediately came to a close.  Tellico WMA employees spotted the capybara again and contacted the owner who was able to live trap the animal and get it safely home.

 

All agency employees listen to stories each day. They rely on their education, science and years of experience to help others understand nature’s happenings, wildlife behavior and in this case get an exotic animal back into proper care.

 

There are many laws concerning exotic animals in Tennessee. TWRA oversees permitting for certain captive wildlife including exotic animals.  For more information on wild animal permitting, visit TWRA at tnwildlife.org.



Bat Blitz Set For July In Sewanee

Education is the key to understanding an issue and the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network hopes to allow the public a peek into the important research focusing on bats during the first day of a week-long Bat Blitz. On  Monday, July 23,  the general public is invited to come out and gain a better understanding of what bat biologists do through the course of their duties. ... (click for more)

A Canoe Tour On Lookout Creek Set For July 27

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park would like to invite the public to participate in a free, two-and-a-half hour, family-friendly canoe tour with a ranger on Friday, July 27, at 9 a.m. National Park Parnters and the Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga will sponsor an event where visitors will paddle the quiet waters of Lookout Creek and learn about the rich Civil War ... (click for more)

Man Shot And Killed On Arlington Avenue On Wednesday

A man was shot and killed on Wednesday afternoon on Arlington Avenue at the Bayberry Apartments. Chattanooga Police responded around 5 p.m. and found the victim. Officials said it appeared to be the result of a disorder between the suspect and the victim. The investigation is ongoing.   (click for more)

Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Fire On Workman Road Tuesday Morning

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched at 6:03 a.m. on Tuesday, to a commercial fire at 400 Workman Road. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were shooting through the roof and the request was immediately made for a second alarm response. The flames could be seen for miles as a total of 13 fire companies rushed to the scene. The large, two-story ... (click for more)

Am I Alone?

 Am I alone seems to be quite apt as I begin to form sentences, thoughts and concerns regarding the state of this country. I feel like I am alone trying, somehow, to justify Trump and understand why he is constantly in the middle of chaos.  Now coined as the Liar-in-Chief, Chief Foreign Affairs Coordinator acting for his pal Russian Dictator, Putin.  The silence ... (click for more)

Six Things We Can Do About Mass Shootings - And Response (3)

All politics aside, the recent shooting in Florida, and every other shooting in a public place, is a senseless and, possibly, preventable tragedy. It is absurd that we can’t gather in a free society without the fear of some nut job or terrorist using us as targets.   And then the cries of “do something!” from every quarter. But, other than the obvious attempt by agenda-pushers ... (click for more)