Swamp rat photo gallery

Louisiana pays $5 a tail to encourage people to hunt the nutria.

I'm glad to see that my friend Chris Metzler's documentary about 20-lb nutrias (swamp rats) was fully funded on Kickstarter. (If you missed our post about the swamp rat meat taste test, here it is.)

While we are waiting for the documentary to come out, here's a somewhat gruesome gallery of swamp rat photos.


  1. I used to bullseye swamp rats in my T-16 back home, they’re not much bigger than two meters.

    1. Here I go and establish my geek bona fides: I read the novelization shortly after the movie came out and recall he said “womp rat”.

      1. му ¢ℓαѕѕмαтє’ѕ ѕιѕтєя-ιη-ℓαω мαкєѕ $70/нσυя ση тнє ℓαρтσρ. ѕнє нαѕ вєєη ƒιяє∂ ƒяσм ωσяк ƒσя ѕєνєη мσηтнѕ вυт ℓαѕт мσηтн нєя ραу ωαѕ $15291 נυѕт ωσякιηg ση тнє ℓαρтσρ ƒσя α ƒєω нσυяѕ. яєα∂ мσяє ση тнιѕ ѕιтє­ ­http://makingmoremoneyonfreetime&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

  2. How is that sausage?  Nutria do make decent coats.  Years upon years ago, I worked at a fairly upscale shoe boutique/store that also sold full-length nutria fur coats.  Sassy ladies would sweet talk their spendy men into buying these the furs for them.  As a commission-earning employee, I happily denied any knowledge of the nutria as I told them that they did, indeed, look awesome in their new coat. 

    1. Stop!  I’ve already had non-buyer’s remorse for almost 30 years for not snapping up that purple sheared nutria jacket at Nieman Marcus back in the 80s.

      1. Whoa.  That is a loaded reply!  Nutria.  Purple fur.  80’s.  Niemans.  Our worlds appear to have overlapped back there in the 80’s…. in… Texas?  (Although, my nutria-coat selling days were in Santa Fe — far from Louisiana which increased my deniability factor by 1000). 

        1. San Francisco, where a purple nutria jacket wouldn’t have even been noticed.  And I already had a pair of Pinky and Dianne private label violet leather pants.

  3. Loving the crazy eyes on the director, now that he’s had his first taste of blood.

    So what is the cost of a round of ammo compared to the 5 bucks reward money? Do the hunters profit in any way other than the meat, fur, and bones?

  4. Other than for the “snax stix” their taste test is not very useful since they didn’t seem to have any idea how to cook or serve the meats.

  5. Sigh. Nutria are no more “rats” than Capybaras or Mara are. Sorry, /pedantry.

    1.  Except they are called rats in a lot of places. Swamp rats, river rats. They aren’t rattus, no, but I think they’re rat enough for most people.

  6. Is it possible to eat meat without being freaks about it and showing off the dead body parts as trophies?

  7. I have never heard anyone here in Louisiana call them “swamp rats”. We just call them nutria.

    1. After watching the kickstarter video of Rodents of Unusual Size, my guess is that you actually call them “nootrah”

  8. The army should combine target practice and weapons training with nutria eradication. 

    Also, Nutria sounds so nutritious. I’m imagining it would taste like Kangaroo which is probably completely inaccurate. Just guessing based on the lean-red meat aspect of both animals. It’s unsurprising none of those film makers / meat reviewers particularly enjoyed the taste, they cooked the absolute crap out of those sausages, and lean red-meats become considerably less delicious when overcooked.

  9. Anybody else hear the Freakanomics episode about unintended consequences? They had a segment about how a tail bounty on feral pigs on a southern military base went off the rails. People were buying them from butchers all over the place and cashing them in. Another story was about a bounty on cobras in Raj India that led to cobra farms.  Food for thought…as you’re flipping those nutria burgers on the grill.

    1. I recall my dad telling me about a bounty on some critter when he was a kid — one county paid for the tail and the neighboring county paid for the head.  2 fer 1 deal!

  10. These little boogers look about as cute as cats to my eye (or, to be honest, cats look about as cute as nutria), but I figure if a gallery like the above-linked starred your furry feline friends instead of these friendless rodents, it’d be apt to get the linker kicked off the internet and hounded to starvation as Pariah Supreme.

    FWIW, in my Biology II class in high school back toward the sunset years of the Reagan Administration, we dissected cats.  Having no sentimental feelings about the species, I was eager to dig in and learn, and I remember that the teacher and I were the only ones who didn’t bother wearing gloves (I never asked his reason, but I found it easier to manage a scalpel without them, since the gloves were of a slippery variety).  All went pretty well that hour, and then as I gazed at the surprisingly plush pile of pelts, I was suddenly moved to ask the teacher if it might be okay to save the furs, maybe stitch a small coat out of them.  Well, this was just a few yards too far over the line as far as my social standing went.  The teacher said no, he was required to dispose of the remains in the scientifically approved manner, and the angle of his cocked eyebrow let me know in no uncertain terms that I oughta keep my Cruella de Vil thoughts entirely to myself.  And had this been anytime near prom season, I have no doubt I would never have landed a date.  It’s way too painfully easy to remember the looks on my classmates’ faces.

    I wouldn’t have kept the fur for myself as I’m pretty allergic, but still… it felt kinda bad seeing those kitty pelts going to waste.  Whatever educational value we kids got out of them was done, and some of those furs were quite lovely.  It was all too easy to picture one stretched out in front of a fireplace in Barbie’s Malibu Dream Home (maybe with a naked yet smooth-crotched Ken sprawled out upon it like Burt Reynolds in Cosmo).

    But now I’m a bit more evolved, I hope.  There really was no need for us to be carving apart dead animals in a high school biology class, however advanced, and I’m glad to see that that practice seems to have diminished in favor.  And I hasten to point out that I’ve never actually harmed a kitty, nor even briefly entertained an urge to perform mischief on one more violent than a rare garden-hose squirt, nor have I ever consciously given pain to any of God’s creatures larger than a black widow spider.

    And yet.  I remember my mother’s antique beaver stole and can understand why fur was so popular for so long.

    1. We did our cat dissections in the waning years of the Nixon administration. I remember them sitting in a plastic bag on top of the cupboards for most of the year until we got around to them.

  11. Just thinking about all the different invasive species an enterprising young soul could stock a buffet with — Asian Carp, Nutria,  Burmese Python, and Kudzu or Algae-Jell-O Salad.

  12. This image of a disembodied rat tail has nicely served as subtle negative conditioning for me to stop impulsively checking boingboing and get back to goddam work! 

  13. prepare for the unintended consequences….people will start to raise them just to collect the rewards

    1. I dunno, the bounty program has gone on for a long time and I’ve yet to hear of anyone breeding them for tails. They’re plentiful enough and 5 dollars is a low price point for how long you’d have to feed them.

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