The Department of Enterprise Services, which manages the state-owned park around the downtown lake, called in U.S. Department of Agriculture agents to help limit the impact of nutria that have taken hold in embankments around the lake. Several dozen of the beaver-sized swimming rodents that originated in South America are believed to have taken up residence, and the critters are known for burrowing, even under roadbeds, and damaging structures and vegetation.
“They saw 12 animals and shot one,” Enterprise Services spokesman Jim Erskine said. “They’ll continue to go out until they don’t spot animals any more or we tell them discontinue. I don’t know any reason we would tell them to stop, unless there was some other issue that came up.”