Golf is back in the Olympics for the first time since 1904, but it’s already off to an ominous start, as several of the sport’s top players have pulled out of the 2016 Summer Games. Yet those who made the trip to Rio de Janeiro might have to worry about more than just water hazards and bunkers.
The Olympic golf course is located in Barra da Tijuca, a neighborhood just west of Rio that’s situated between two lakes. It’s a pretty scenic course, but there’s one problem — animals seem to love it, too, especially one strange creature called the capybara.
Capybaras are the largest species of rodent in the world — they can weigh up to 150 pounds — and according to the National Post, this golf course is teeming with them.
“They chew down on the grass at night,” Mark Johnson, the PGA Tour’s director of international agronomy, told the Post. “There are about 30-40 of them inside the course perimeter, but they live here and we play golf here, we co-exist.”
Here’s a look at the golfers’ potential furry friends, courtesy of The Golf Channel:
Those capybaras will have plenty of company, however. Here’s the Post casually describing the menagerie of animals who will be hanging out around the greens:
“There are also three-toed sloths, monkeys, boa constrictors and caimans, a small crocodile that doesn’t usually grow beyond five feet in length. They frequent holes 2, 3, 5 and 9.”
On the bright side, at least those crocodiles are (usually) under five feet…
Of course, the Rio Olympics have much bigger problems on their plate than animal control on the golf course, so it appears Bubba Watson and Co. must learn to get along with the diverse wildlife — and make sure they don’t run off with any golf balls.
Thumbnail photo via Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports Images
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