A group of around 400 capybaras is the subject of a controversy in a rich region of closed condominiums in cities north of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The condominiums are located in an area known as Nordelta, which is washed by the Paraná River before flowing into the Prata River.
It is a region of swamps, which has always had wild animals.
Image from Google Maps shows how Nordelta’s closed condominiums in Argentina look like — Photo: Reproduction/Google Maps
In 2015, capybaras began to appear in the gardens and backyards of houses in closed condominiums. Since then, the number of animals has grown. Residents estimate that today the group of capybaras has around 400 individuals.
The newspaper “La Nación” heard a representative of a neighborhood association who said that capybaras now walk the streets, eat garden plants and face pets. Residents say that the feces of capybaras have also become a problem and that they do not know what diseases the animals can transmit.
Residents want the capybaras to be calmed and taken somewhere else.
However, biologists said that hundreds of capybaras cannot be taken to another region where an established capybara population already lives, as this could cause a major imbalance in that other region.
Map shows the location of the Nordelta region in Argentina — Photo: G1
Memes and political polarization
On social networks, some of the Argentines began to defend capybaras and make jokes about the “political orientation” of animals.
An old video of an Argentine giving mate in a gourd to a capybara, who drinks with a bomb (metal straw), returned to circulation (see below).
Video shows Argentines giving mate served in a gourd and bomb to a capybara
As the Nordelta region is rich, it is identified as anti-Peronist (the political movement of followers of former president Juan Domingo Perón, which includes Vice President Cristina Kirchner and President Alberto Fernández).
Thus, the Argentine Peronists began to make jokes saying that the capybaras would be leftist.
Juan Grabois, a university professor and leftist activist from Argentina, made a joke on a social network in which he said “with the capybaras, until the victory was always there, he messed with one of them”.
The country’s Security Minister, Sabina Frederic, said in an interview to a radio station that the presence of capybaras is a way that nature has found to repay. “We all know that there is environmental damage caused by these real estate developments and also that judges have difficulty stopping them (referring to real estate developers),” she said.
“Well, that’s the price,” Frederic said. She also said that there is a drought in the Paraná River basin, and that the animals are looking for water.
There were those who didn’t like the statements. In a text in “La Nación”, the columnist Luciano Román accused the Kirchnerimo of having appropriated the capybaras.
See below the video from January 2021, when a capybara appeared in the water mirror of the Congress building, in Brasília:
Capybara is rescued from the National Congress’s water mirror in Brasília