Thursday, 14 June, 2001

What's In My Pool?

One of the disadvantages of having a pool is that I often find dead animals floating in the traps.  Sometimes I get lucky and am able to get them out while they're still alive.  When I went outside yesterday morning I found a little critter trying to get out of the pool.  The little thing was dog paddling against the side but was unable to get a grip on the tile surface.  So I grabbed a landscape timber and put it in front of the little guy so he could climb out.  It was still shivering on the log when I left for work 30 minutes later.

So what is it?  At first I thought it was a baby 'possum (I was only half awake), but after looking at the picture (and after seeing another 'possum this evening), I'm not so sure.  It might be a relatively large rat.  As long as it stays out of the house, I'll leave it alone like I do the other animals in the area.

Maybe I should put some water bowls around the pool so that animals will drink out of those rather than fall in the pool.

Update 04/08/2005: Yes, almost four years later.  Isn't the Internet a wonderful thing?  A helpful reader sent me a message saying that he thinks this is most likely a nutria rat.  I knew there were large rodents in Central and South America, but I didn't realize we had them in abundance here.