A Patagonian mara discovered in Morrison, Colorado.

MORRISON, Colorado – Reddit user u/SwordieLotus posted a video of a bizarre hare-like creature wandering along a trail in Morrison, Colorado, asking the r/animalid subreddit what it might be. The animal appears to be a Patagonian Mara, or Patagonian Cavy, primarily native to central and southern Argentina. The question is, how did it get to Colorado’s Front Range?

Several commenters point out the possibility of this being someone’s escaped pet. Patagonian Maras are not legal to own in the state of Colorado. Some states allow ownership, some require permits. But in Colorado, this creature is not an exempt or unregulated animal.

The original poster was able to reach out to the local park service, sharing the video with them. While no official statement has been released, the poster claims they received an email back from the rangers, identifying the animals origin.

Update: the local park rangers returned our email and told us that it seems someone released one in the nearby area. It was spotted by a ranger as well.” – SwordieLotus

This isn’t the first escaped Patagonian mara seen across the United States. In 2017, one wound up in a parking lot on the Las Vegas strip, and in 2015, a family found one of the creatures exploring their backyard in Stevens County, Washington. In the past year, two other redditors have posted images or videos of the animal to r/animalid, one in Tacoma, Washington, and one in Southeast Tennessee.

Not many of Colorado’s zoos appear to have Patagonian maras on display, but if you’re looking to see one of these bizarre creatures in person, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo did move two to their My Big Backyard area in late April of this year.

A Patagonian mara discovered in Morrison, Colorado.

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