The ragondin (coypu) was introduced to France for its fur during the 19th century. It is now considered as a pest, and is found in a great part of the south of France, and occasionally in the north.
In size it is approximately 50cm long, plus a 40cm tail. The ragondin has dark-brown, sometimes very dark, hair.
The ragondin lives near freshwater, and often causes flooding and blocks water courses by his activities. They also build a large subterranean den, which can undermine the surrounding land and damage the ditches and streams where they live.
These activities cause their unpopularity with farmers. To compound matters, in addition to eating largely roots of aquatic plants they will also eat corn and wheat if found nearby.
Hence ragondins are usually trapped, poisoned or shot if found in France. (So we have kept quiet about those at the bottom of our field...)
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