Capybaras in Argentina are reclaiming their ancestral homeland, no doubt inspired by the recent success of the Taliban. Locally known as “carpinchos,” the giant rodents have occupied a rich gated neighborhood called Nordelta, and are currently gathering support from the Argentinian people on social networks by launching unsuspected assaults on bikers and decadent rich people.
The capybara takeover follows a recent worldwide trend of wild animals losing all respect for human space.
Nordelta is Argentina’s most well-known gated community: an enclave of spacious homes for the rich amid a dreamy landscape of lakes and streams north of Buenos Aires.
But environmentalists question its very existence because it is built on the wetlands of the Paraná, the second most important river in South America after the Amazon.
Now, however, nature is fighting back against Nordelta’s well-heeled residents.
In recent weeks, the community has been invaded by capybaras, who have destroyed manicured lawns, bitten dogs and caused traffic accidents.
the virgin motociclista vs the carpincho chad https://t.co/pf0jfMv2Vz
— blonde anya survivor (@fruityanya) August 20, 2021
— ????? ?????? ?????? (@dobledebruce) August 19, 2021
[Último Momento] Carpinchos en Nordelta, los vecinos descubren el plan secreto de Cristina y La Campora. pic.twitter.com/zWmeaRO5z4
— Alto Candombe – Cuenta Nueva (@CandombeAlto) August 19, 2021
— Lautaro Paredes (@peladoparedes) August 19, 2021
“They not only destroy gardens but their excrement has also become a problem,” one local man told the daily La Nación, complaining that local wildlife officials had prohibited residents from touching the large rodents.
Some Nordelta residents are reported to have responded by bringing out their hunting rifles, but many other Argentinians have taken to social media to defend the rodents – known locally as carpinchos.
In politically polarized Argentina, progressive Peronists see Nordelta as the enclave of an upper class eager to exclude common people – and with tongue only partly in cheek, some have portrayed the capybaras as a rodent vanguard of the class struggle.
Adult capybaras can grow up to one metre (3.2ft) in length, stand over 60cm (24in) tall and can weigh up to 60 kilos (132lb). They are naturally gregarious and live in groups of between 10 and 20 individuals.
Prominent ecologist Enrique Viale said it was a mistake to frame the rodent influx as an invasion. “It’s the other way round: Nordelta invaded the ecosystem of the carpinchos,” said Viale, who has been campaigning with many others for 10 years now for congress to pass a law to defend the wetlands from development.
Carpinchos are a noble, peaceful people.
You can reason with them.
Nunca pensé que iba a estar vivo para ver a los carpinchos domando chetos y librando la madre de todas las batallas en Nordelta.
Estoy así: pic.twitter.com/Gy6t7viQUS
— ????????? ℙ??????. ? ??? (@DaniloZurita8) August 18, 2021
They’re way more popular than the rich people from the gated community.
LEAVE THE CARPINCHOS ALONE NORDELTA BITCHES
— Rocío Belén (@romenendez35) August 19, 2021
Banco fuerte a los carpinchos peronistas de Nordelta recuperando su hábitat ❤️ pic.twitter.com/WMK4AUTAa9
— daniel adamez (@daniadamez) August 19, 2021
El avance de la urbanización sobre los humedales afecta a nuestra fauna nativa de manera directa.
Como consecuencia, especies como el carpincho han quedado excluidos de su ecosistema, como en el caso de Nordelta. pic.twitter.com/hNe9wo1yjE
— Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible (@AmbienteNacion) August 20, 2021
Local newspapers are saying that the Japanese embassy in Argentina defended the carpinchos.
La embajada de Japón en Argentina defendió a los carpinchos de Nordelta. desde la embajada de Japón en Argentina compartieron un hilo en twitter a favor de aquellos animales que se volvieron noticia en los últimos días. Más info ⬇️https://t.co/X6X9464ppK pic.twitter.com/kWC5YnAlUs
— Ahora San Juan (@ahorasanjuan) August 22, 2021
The rodents have gained the support of most of the local dog population as well.
Los carpinchos asesinos pic.twitter.com/MvnljGGYCw
— Aki (@baravak) August 21, 2021
In other provinces, it is normal for people to interact with these animals.
Have you ever seen a capybara, we call them carpinchos in Argentina. It is the largest living rodent: pic.twitter.com/NWO1WHTCZK
— Carlos Montero (@CarlosLecturer) August 20, 2021