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Rio’s Olympic golf course is overrun by wild animals

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The giant rodents roaming Rio's Olympic Golf Course are harmless. Repeat, harmless.

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You’ve heard all about the behemoth rodents stalking the fairways and waterways at the Rio Olympic golf course.

This creature may appear to be the result of an unnatural coupling between a woodchuck and a wild pig, or perhaps a huge rat and a Shetland pony. But unless Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia and the other 57 guys going for the gold this week have lettuce and other flora hanging out of their golf bags, they’re perfectly safe.

The capybara, which can weigh in at a buck fifty and has the distinction of being the world’s biggest rodent, is as vegan as an animal in the wild can be.

"They chew down on the grass at night," Mark Johnson, director of international agronomy for the PGA Tour, told the National Post. "There are about 30-40 of them inside the course perimeter, but they live here and we play golf here, we co-exist."

Oh, and speaking of Sergio, seems the Spanish Olympian has something in common with another native to Brazil. Garcia owls have taken to nesting in some of the sand bunkers on the course, which Gil Hanse built next to a nature preserve — a move that environmentalists vehemently protested ahead of construction.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

"The players won’t be too upset," said Johnson about the small holes the hooters burrow into the sand. "They’ll just get a free drop."