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Tule Elk Preserve, April 2022
Non-Native Nutria Sighting
Favorite section of Tule Elk Preserve's waterway.
At my feet, noticed something moving just beneath the water's surface.
I held my breath thinking it might be a Western Pond Turtle foraging.
But alas! It was a large Grass Carp swimming lazily in the shallows.
Imagine my surprise when a little later, saw this Nutria (noo-TREE-uh).
And yes, what attracted my attention was the slap of its tail.
Sure looked like the Nutria had caught a large Grass Carp.
Nutria are native of South America and are considered invasive.
But Nutria are plant eaters. So my guess is when foraging underwater,
the carp got tangled in the vegetation and was dragged along.
Further along the waterway, watched another Nutria swim into
the shallows and appear to bask in the sun. It did not look healthy.
Due to CA's severe drought, waterways contain less water than in past years.
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