A wild and rare capybara has been spotted out and about at a Paso Robles wastewater treatment plant, "consuming vegetation in the sewer ponds."
It's believed that the sighting is of the same capybara spotted in the area a couple of times over the past few years, and the massive rodent is apparently good at eluding capture and public appearances. A witness who first saw the creature described it as the size of a "small pig," and wildlife experts say the creatures weigh between 100 and 120 lbs. in adulthood.
Paso Robles Wastewater Treatment Plant Employee Nick Kamp was stunned by the appearance of the Paso Robles capybara back at the end of July. He described the sighting to press:
"It had the body of a pig, but it had a longer nose and head to it... He'd come up and look at us and go back down. At times, it would swim with its head just out of the water and other times, it would swim totally submerged."The Atascadero Zoo's director Alan Baker said the capybara is not "particularly a nice animal," and that the beasts were essentially "giant rats." He also said that the lone capybara probably isn't lonely all by itself:
"You could see just bubbles that were coming up to the surface where it was swimming."
"They do fine by themselves," he said. "They're not like us, where they have this burning need to find another capybara."As for the Paso Robles capybara, employees at the Paso Robles Wastewater Treatment Plant have been keeping an eye out for the creature, but it hasn't surfaced since the July 22nd sighting.