I came across this animal eating at the side of the walking path while walking along the river last week. I didn’t know what it was and after searching the internet for a bit, I believe it is a nutria. . . or maybe a muskrat. The nutria is a large rat-like semiaquatic rodent which is considered and invasive species here in Oregon.
Nutria are native to South America and were introduced deliberately into North America for fur farming in the 1930s. In Oregon the species is limited to areas in the southern Willamette Valley and central Coastal Region (I don’t live in these areas). It usually occurs in or adjacent to rivers, lakes, sloughs, marshes, ponds, and temporarily flooded fields.
You can find more information about the nutria here.
I am now thinking that the animal I thought was a beaver in my recent post (here) was actually a nutria or a muskrat.
I’m so confused!!!