Although native to South America, the unique rodent known as a capybara may have found a foothold in Florida and could soon become fixture in the Sunshine State.
Similar to this week's news about goldfish invading Australia, Florida could be facing an impending invasion of an alien species, albeit a bit more adorable.
According to experts, exotic pet owners have been importing capybaras, which are about the size of a small dog, to Florida for the past few decades.
However as one might expect, some clever capybaras have managed to escape captivity over the years and have settled in the Florida wilderness.
Sightings of the strange animals seemed to be simply an amusing aside to Floridians, but a recent study suggests that the presence of capybaras in the state may be larger than anyone previously imagined.
It is believed that 50 of the creatures have formed a small community in the northern part of the state and biologist Elizabeth Congdon suggest that may merely be the tip of the capybara iceberg.
"Several sightings suggest they have been breeding," Congdon told RedOrbit.
Despite the inadvertent dangers the animals may pose to the Floridian ecosystem, Congdon hopes that state wildlife officials and residents do not overreact to the invasive species and kill off all of the wild capybaras.
That said, their rate of reproduction suggests that the state could see an explosion of capybara in the years and decades to come if the rodent interlopers are not carefully monitored.
Echoing the words which dance in the head of every dreamer who makes their way to America, Congdon observed, "they might be able to make a go of it in the United States."
Seen in that light, it almost makes you want to root for the capybaras.