The nutria is a large rodent originally native to South America, but now introduced to many areas around the world by fur farmers. It is primarily known as nutria in the U.S. and in Asia, but because in Spanish speaking countries "nutria" refers to an otter, the name coypu was adopted. It is also known as the river rat because it has a large bare tail like a rat.
|Nutria on the bank of the Jordan River.|
We were in Jordan recently visiting the traditionally recognized place for the baptism of Jesus on the Jordan River, which is the border for Israel and Jordan. We noticed a large rodent on the Israeli bank of the Jordan which eventually went into the water. It looked like a beaver, with gray whiskers and a rat tail. An internet search later confirmed it as a nutria, introduced to Israel by fur farmers.