Nutria, also know as copyu or water rat, were brought to the United States to breed for their pelts, but over time they've become part of the wildlife of the country as an invasive species. In Spring 2014 two were regularly seen at the pond, but by fall the resultant litters of the initial pair had also mated producing many furry critters. By summer 2015 it seemed like they were everywhere.

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Nutria climbing the hillside. Although they do seem to spend most of their time in water, they feed on land.
[The top back view of a large brown rodent with a long, round tail climbing a hillside with dormant(brown) grass.]

Nutria on the move in the water.
[The nutria swims from right to left with the top section of its body and nearly half its tail out of the water.]

Closer view of the rodent as it swims.
[The nutria swims toward the camera with its tail drifting to the left. Its spiky fur and whiskers are clearly visible.]

Closer view of the rodent on land displaying its characteristic large, orange front teeth.
[The nutria stands in the grass facing the camera. Its hind end is bigger than its front end. White whiskers extend from the nose which provides contrast to its colored front teeth which stick out from its mouth.]

By mid-June 2014 two little nutria emerged from the burrow in the hillside. One sits right at mom's backside while the other is on the far left of the burrown opening.
[All three nutria are in the water. Mom is out front in more open water while one young one leans on her backside. The other little one is back among the vegetation at the left side of the hole to the den.]

About two weeks later I saw the baby nutria in open water.
[The two youngs ones are swimming side-by-side in front of Mom.]

In November 2014 there were more little ones.
[A tiny nutria swims in the shallow water very close to an adult nutria.]

A lot more.
[One medium-sized and four small nutria are climbing out of a hole in the hillside.]

This is the same hole from the prior photo just 15 days later. The continual digging of these animals collapsed the dirt into the pond.
[There is no longer hillside below the hole. The hole is now simulates the opening to a cave.]

Here are the six "little" ones from another litter. There were now at least a dozen nutria living in the pond area.
[Six nutria walk as a group along the hillside. It's a wonder some of them can move considering how close to each other they are.]

Somehow the little ones seemed cuter when there weren't quite so many of them.
[Close view of one baby nutria on the grass.]

Here's one from the summer class of 2015.
[Close view of a young nutria on the grass. It has very long white whiskers and its orange teeth are visible.]

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