Huge 'Bonnie and Clyde' Rodents Loose in Toronto

The capybara pair escaped from High Park Zoo on May 24
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2016 9:40 AM CDT
Huge 'Bonnie and Clyde' Rodents Loose in Toronto
A capybara eats a plant at a zoo in Asuncion, Paraguay, on Feb. 18, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

A #CapybaraWatch hashtag is making the rounds online in the hopes that the public can help track down two giant capybaras that flew the coop of a Toronto zoo more than two weeks ago, National Geographic reports. The aptly nicknamed Bonnie and Clyde made a run for it on May 24 as they were being relocated to a different enclosure at High Park Zoo. Capybaras, native to South America, are known as the world's largest rodents, weighing as much as a grown man (up to 220 pounds in captivity, less in the wild) and reaching a length of 4 feet. What could make finding these two escapees difficult: They adapt well to new environments, can make do with plants that usually aren't on their dinner plates, and can hide out quite well in the water—and the zoo is surrounded by lots of it.

What Toronto residents don't have to worry too much about with Bonnie and Clyde, who've already earned their own Twitter parody account, is being attacked: Although there have been occasional reports of the creature biting humans, "when it senses danger, it dashes toward the nearest deep water at a gallop," a capybara expert tells National Geographic. Oddly enough, even though the rodents are huge as far as rodents go, they may not be simple to spot. "They can be deceptive in the proximity of humans," a University of Sao Paulo wildlife ecologist says. Still, rescuers may be getting closer: CityNews notes traps were set out around Toronto after one of the creatures was spotted Sunday, and a CityNews reporter had another sighting Friday morning when he saw one of the animals taking a dip in a pond in High Park. (A worker at a California water-treatment plant ran into a capybara a few years back—and his pics went viral.)

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