Olympic golf will be returning to the competition for the first time in 112 years...but with an added obstacle. Capybaras are roaming the greens, "exploring and settling in" sand traps and water hazards.
Capybaras are the world's largest rodent. They can weigh up to 100 lbs and stand up to 2 feet tall.
“They chew down on the grass at night,” Mark Johnson, director of international agronomy for the PGA Tour told The National Post. “There are about 30-40 of them inside the course perimeter, but they live here and we play golf here, we co-exist.”
“The biggest pains in the asses I’ve ever had to deal with on a golf course,” says Neil Cleverly, its British superintendent. “We’ve given them a gourmet meal compared to what they had before. We’ve given them breakfast, lunch and dinner. They’re eating well.”
The environmentalists protested the construction of the $19M Olympic golf course, which was built in a coastal nature preserve.
The controversial Olympics golf course was built in a sensitive coastal area, and environmentalists say it destroyed habitat and harmed native plants and animals, including endangered species. But it didn’t drive all the animals away: The golf course is still teeming with wildlife like capybaras, sloths, boa constrictors, and miniature crocodiles, so organizers have hired five handlers to keep potentially dangerous critters away from players during game time.
At least creatures are eating well.