|New Zealander Danny Lee snaps a pic of a capybara walking along the golf course|
This appears on rappler.com
Golfers, capybaras compete side by side on the Rio greens
by rick olivares
RIO DE JANEIRO—Even before the first tee, the golf tournament of the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics will be a different experience for both golfer and fan. There’s a hugeness and even historic feel to these games as they make a return to the Summer Games after a 112-year absence. And it is going to be re-introduced in a country where the sport isn’t that big. In fact, Brazil’s top golfer, Adilson Da Silva is ranked No. 288 in the world.
However, there’ll be a unique Discovery Channel feel to these games as the course at the Campo De Olimpico de Golfe at the Reserva de Marapendi, in suburban Rio. The par-71 course was built on a sandy and swamp land by American architect Gil Hanse and plays 7,128 yards for the men’s competition and 6,245 for the women’s competition. It is also home to a variety of wildlife who occasionally wander onto the greens and sand traps.
Case in point: the capybara. In today’s practice session, Kiwi golfer Danny Lee snapped pictures of these large semi-aquatic rodents who are a close relative of guinea pigs and rock cavies except for their size. During practice sessions at the Reserva de Marapendi, capybaras walked around the course and munched on grass without a care as golfers and caddies walked by.
The Golf Channel tweeted last Tuesday, August 9, a picture of a capybara walking through the course: “Just playing through. See our capybara friend and more in Monday’s #OlympicGolf gallery”.
Other wildlife spotted on the course include owls and monkeys and — gasp -- a crocodile!
Don’t just break out the mosquito repellant to fight Zika! Break out the mesh and traps to prevent any attacks!
Mark Johnson, director of international agronomy for the PGA Tour remarked of the sight of capybaras lazily walking around, “They chew the grass at night. There are 30 to 40 of them inside the course perimete. But they live here and we play golf here. We co-exist."
A lot of care was taken to preserve the surroundings of the area including the natural habitats of the various wildlife.
Yet more than the indigenous animals, there’s the sight of the Atlantic Ocean and the Olympic Village in the distance.
RIo organizers said that the Olympic golf tournament will be memorable in more ways than one.