BBC : El Chigüire Venezolano en Peligro de Extinción

11/04/2009 | 873 Visitas

World's largest rodent at risk in Venezuela

The capybara lives in the Amazon region, is a distant relative of the guinea pig and is the largest rodent in the world.

A capybara

The capybara is found across large areas of South America

In Venezuela, where it is also known as 'el chiguire', it is a traditional Easter dish.

It is under threat in certain areas of the country, despite being protected by strict hunting laws.

Poaching and illegal hunting of the capybara is commonplace, especially in the weeks ahead of Easter.

The Roman Catholic church encourages giving up red meat over the religious period, but like fish the meat of the capybara is considered exempt.

As Will Grant reports, the government and environmental groups face an uphill battle to change people's attitudes towards the furry animal.

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