Most rodents don’t have an easy life. They may rule the underground world of sewage, but once they start traveling on land higher than that of a manhole, life gets way more complicated. Scurrying on the street from one place to another becomes a life or death mission and if they are adventurous enough to venture into a house, they are usually met with shrieks and shortly after, death traps. Of course, there are exceptions to this, like people who choose to keep rodents as pets. While keeping a rodent as a pet may already sound incredibly strange to some people, there are others that relish in the experience of keeping an out-of-the-ordinary pet. Just ask this family from Texas, who not only has a rodent as a pet, they have the world’s largest rodent – a 120-pound capybara.

We’re not joking, folks. This Texas family decided to ditch the conventional dog and cat route and go in a completely other direction. They shower Chico, their two-year-old capybara, with hugs, kisses, and homemade food.

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Unsurprisingly, Chico is the hit of the town, with people from all over peering over the family’s fence to get a glimpse of the giant.

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And the family is loving the attention. They dress Chico up in outfits, from football jerseys to tutus and capes, there’s never a dull moment for Chico. 

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While keeping a rodent as a pet may at first seem nothing more than bizarre and unusual, upon further inspection, one can easily see how irresponsible it can be. To begin, this capybara, like most exotic pets, is not native to the area it is being kept in. These large semi-aquatic rodents are used to the climates of South America, places like Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia. While a warm bed and meal may seem like a kind thing to do, when you think about the lush landscapes this animal would normally be traveling, it becomes clear that this family is, actually robbing this animal of a lifetime of exploration.

Secondly, Chico clearly is not fit to be domesticated. Yes, according to the family, he (supposedly) loves watching Tosh.0, whistling at blondes, and dressing up in costume. However, given the fact that he shreds the family’s couches, curtains, and clothing because he believes he is “nesting” proves that this animal does not belong inside of some suburban home, he belongs outside where he can nest in his natural habitat.

Unfortunately, news publications are not painting the story in this manner at all, instead focusing on Chico’s silly antics and the mere novelty of the situation. At the end of the day, however, this case is just like any other exotic animal case – irresponsible and unnecessary. Chico may not be a fierce lion who is being denied a life of hunting or a monkey being denied the comfort of his friends and family, but he is still an animal that is out of place. And that’s not cute, entertaining, or funny at all.

All image source: SF Gate

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