SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California wildlife officials say residents cannot keep an invasive beagle-sized rodent as a pet.
The Sacramento Bee reports that the California Fish and Game Commission are taking preventive action to avoid the South American nutria from spreading.
The commission says they will discuss adding nutria to a legal list of prohibited pets in December.
Officials say California could see about 250,000 rodents in five years.
Scientists say they captured hundreds in multiple counties already as part of a $2 million plan to eradicate the rodent.
Scientists say the orange-toothed animals eat all nearby vegetation and can give birth to litters up to 12 every 48 hours.
Experts say their burrowing is damaging to waterways and flood protection infrastructure.
Nutrias have also been reported in Oregon, Louisiana and Maryland.
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