Friday, June 18, 2010


The unexpected is one of the things I look forward to on this trip. Martina was my tour guide to the Terezin and Lidice Memorials. She made a 7 hour tour go by very quickly, but I can't get to those pictures yet, however she did show me something that the children and families in the village of Terezin love to do. The village is surrounded by a moat that was intended to protect the Czechs from the Prussians. The moat has a stream flowing through it, but it is not full of water. Martina walked me down a path next to one of the moats so that I could feed the "beavers." Beavers have flat wide tails. I don't know what these things are. They were very tame, and they were happy to eat the rest of my hostel breakfast sandwich.
But what are they???


  1. I am pretty sure that you are feeding an animal called a nutria. I have sent your picture and a message to a friend who is an expert in identification of fur-bearing animals, and I will post his opinion when I hear from him.

    The following is some information on nutrias from Wikipedia:

    Originally native to temperate South America, it has since been introduced to North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, primarily by fur ranchers.[2] Although it is still valued for its fur in some regions, its destructive feeding and burrowing behaviors make this invasive species a pest throughout most of its range.

    There are two commonly-used names in the English language for Myocastor coypus. The name nutria (or local derivatives such as "nutria- or nutra- rat") is generally used in North America and Asia; however, in Spanish-speaking countries, the word nutria refers to the otter. To avoid this ambiguity, the name coypu (derived from the Mapudungun word kóypu)[3] is used in Latin America and Europe.[4] In France, the coypu is known as a ragondin. In Dutch it is known as beverrat (beaver rat). In Italy, instead, the popular name is, like in North America and Asia, nutria, but it is also called castorino (little beaver), by which its fur is known.

    Coypus live in burrows alongside stretches of water. They feed on river plants, and waste close to 90% of the plant material while feeding on the stems.

  2. My friend looked at your picture and confirms this animal to be a nutria, or coypu.

  3. Ottie thinks it is a nutria.They are on the ranch here in Texas