Big, savory rodent: Bolivia exports capybara jerky

AP News
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Posted: Dec 09, 2009 2:27 PM

Where some see only an edible, hog-sized jungle rodent, others see economic opportunity.

Indigenous communities from Bolivia's eastern lowlands are planning to export dried meat of the world's largest rodent to Venezuela, where the animal is widely consumed.

The pioneering effort is endorsed by the Friends of Nature Foundation.

Foundation leader Ruth Delgado says plans to export the meat of between 200 and 500 capybara a year are environmentally sustainable.

The shy, shorthaired rodents with blunt snouts and no tails regularly grow to 145 pounds (65 kilograms) as they graze on the banks of rivers and lakes.

Delgado said Thursday that the product must sell for $4.45 a pound ($8 a kilogram) to be profitable.