Travel Guides – Giant rat-like creature, armadillos, hundreds of squirrels removed from Midlands home

Hundreds of animals, together with an exotic and invasive giant rat-like creature and hundreds of squirrels, were rescued from crowded, inhumane conditions in a Midlands home, based on the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

In addition to a nutria — a non-native animal that looks like a mix between a beaver and a rat — armadillos, a number of deer, greater than 200 squirrels, and lots of different small mammals have been both roaming free or being saved in cages stacked in the lounge of a double-huge cellular home in Lee County, DNR stated Wednesday in a information launch.

The animals have been found when SCDNR conservation officers served search warrants associated to the unlawful possession of white-tailed deer on the property on Tuesday, based on the discharge.

After the surprising discovery, two ladies, Laura Ross and Nicole Lafaivre, have been arrested on a number of fees and are being held on the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center whereas ready for a bond listening to, jail information present.

A nutria, just like the one pictured on this file picture, was removed from a Midlands home with hundreds of squirrels and a number of other deer amongst different animals, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources stated.

“Right now, our number one concern is the welfare of these animals,” SCDNR Deputy Director of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Emily Cope stated within the launch. “It’s a very challenging situation to deal with, mainly because of the sheer number of animals that were being kept on this site, and the deplorable conditions that existed there. We are working with (the Lee County Office of Animal Control) to determine the best way to move forward on this, and the help we’ve gotten from local veterinarians has been invaluable.”

SCDNR officers stated they’ve been working with animal management officers and employees, county animal shelter employees, and native veterinarians to seek out secure dwelling preparations for the confiscated animals till they are often examined for illnesses and different well being points.

After the confiscated animals are studied on a case-by-case foundation, species native to South Carolina which can be discovered to be illness-free may very well be launched into the wild, SCDNR stated.

That is not going to be the case for the nutria.

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Nutria, about 20 occasions the scale of rats with sharp buck tooth, are thought of an invasive species as a result of they like to eat marsh crops and dig by way of earthen dams.

Possession of nutria in South Carolina is potentially a violation of state laws that limit the importation of non-native wildlife, SCDNR stated. If nutria change into established in a brand new space, they will trigger immense injury to crops and vegetation and destruction to the banks of ditches, lakes, and different water our bodies, in addition to inflicting everlasting injury to marshes and different wetland habitats, based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture .

Weighing as much as 20 kilos, nutria have been marching throughout the south since they have been imported to Louisiana from South America within the Thirties largely as a result of of their helpful pelts. While each state within the Southeast has verified the presence of nutria, sightings within the Palmetto State are uncommon.

A nutria, like the one pictured in this file photo, was removed from a Midlands home with hundreds of squirrels and several deer among other animals, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said.

A nutria, just like the one pictured on this file picture, was removed from a Midlands home with hundreds of squirrels and a number of other deer amongst different animals, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources stated.

As of 2017, there had solely been one confirmed report of a nutria in South Carolina. It was documented in a 2010 report from Horry County.

“Every now and then, somebody will say they think they saw one, but that’s about it,’’ SCDNR wildlife biologist Jay Butfiloski previously told The State. “It’s almost like finding Bigfoot.’’

Information on what will happen to the nutria confiscated from the Lee County home was not available.

If convicted, Ross and Lafaivre face serious consequences.

Ross was charged with multiple drug crimes, charges of possessing deer illegally, wildlife importation violations, and possession of endangered wildlife, jail records show.

In addition to one count of ill treatment (torture) of animals, Lafaivre is also facing charges of possessing deer illegally, and wildlife importation violations, according to jail records.

“SCDNR takes the inhumane treatment of animals very seriously,” SCDNR deputy director for regulation enforcement, Col. Chisolm Frampton, stated within the launch. “It’s heartbreaking when our officers encounter a situation like this, and we greatly appreciate the assistance of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and all of the other agencies and individuals involved. It’s important for us to be clear that this kind of treatment of wildlife will not be tolerated in South Carolina.”