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World's Largest Rodent Spotted at California Wastewater Treatment Plant

capybara

A capybara, also known as Carpincho in Spanish, eats a plant at the zoo in Asuncion, Paraguay, Friday Feb. 18, 2011. The capybara, Hydrochoerus Hydrochaeris, is a semi-aquatic rodent of South America.AP

The world's largest known rodent, the capybara, was spotted by workers at the Paso Robles Wastewater Treatment Plant and photographed before submerging back into the water, reported Fox 35. 

"I received a call from the city of Paso Robles sewer plant," Tom Tognazzini of the Department of Fish and Game told Your Central Coast News. This gigantic capybara is believed to weigh between 100-120 lbs. 

"A capybara was consuming vegetation in the sewer ponds. It actually worked its way from south to north along each pond strip," he said. 

Click here to read more and see a video of the capybara.

This is reportedly the third sighting of a capybara in the Paso Robles area in three years and officials say it might be the same one. 

"About three years ago, we had a second hand report from Hunter Ranch Golf Course of a capybara in the lake system. That sighting was never verified," said Tognazzini. 

"The second sighting was a on a farm. The property owner called to report they had a capybara stealing alfalfa hay from their horses. The property owner came out, discharged a shotgun round at the capybara and didn't know whether or not they had hit it," he said. 

The species is native to South America leading experts to believe that this particular one might have been an illegal pet, or one that somehow escaped or was released from captivity. 

Experts say that if not caught this capybara may not live much longer, as those in the wild are only expected to live about four years while those in captivity have a life span twice as long.