I heard there’s a giant rodent called a capybara roaming a golf course somewhere. Is it dangerous?


Illustration by Jason Schneider

Even though they weigh more than 100 pounds and have incisors the size of golf tees, capybaras are docile herbivores. “The capy is very mild mannered and calm,” assures Cindy Cavalini of Pacific Animal Productions. “They just go through life looking for food, swimming, and wanting to have fun.” Owning the Central and South American rodent as a pet is outlawed in California, but zoos in Santa Barbara and San Diego have permits to house 11 of the critters. Incidentally, the hairy bon vivant you mention was spotted on a golf course in Paso Robles, no doubt enjoying the fruit-forward zins there.