August 17, 2011

Capybara California Dreaming

Photo from 2009.

On July 22, 2011, Nick Kamp, a wastewater operator, reported spotting a capybara at the Paso Robles Wastewater Treatment Plant in California. As it turns out, sightings of the rodent have focussed on two nearby locales to the wastewater treatment plant.

Officials in the Paso Robles area now say they may set traps after Kamp and other workers at a wastewater plant spotted a capybara three weeks ago.

Another shoot from 2009.

Kamp took photos of the animal during his 2011 encounter and described it thusly, “It had the body of a pig, but it had a longer nose and head to it.”

He said that the animal seemed calm, and swam with its head above and below the water.

Todd Tognazzini, a lieutenant with the Department, believes the capybara is an escaped pet, although the animal cannot legally be kept without a special permit. Department of Fish and Game spokesman Andrew Hughan said that the capybara isn’t dangerous, “just weird looking.”

Eight months later, a man who was feeding his horses said a large rodent-like creature came up, scared his horses away, ate some hay and then chased after a dog. The man fired a shotgun at the animal to protect his dog, and called wildlife officials after it left the property. Wardens confirmed footprints at the scene were that of a capybara, but traps they set caught nothing.

Two years ago, a capybara was spotted at a ranch near to the treatment plant, only a mile away, and the ranch owner took photos of the animal. Game wardens received a report about three years ago of a capybara in a pond near Hunter Ranch Golf Course.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

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Filed under Animal Escapees, Breaking News, CryptoZoo News, Out of Place, Weird Animal News