Toronto Parks investigating reports of capybaras sightings
In this file photo, a capybara eats a plant at the zoo in Asuncion, Paraguay, Friday Feb. 18, 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / AP / Jorge Saenz)
Published Saturday, May 28, 2016 5:07PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 28, 2016 5:09PM EDT
Two capybaras that escaped from a Toronto zoo remain missing as several conflicting reports raise questions about whether the animals are dead or alive.
Toronto Parks staff are looking into reports that the bodies of two animals – possibly the bodies of the missing capybaras – washed up in an east-end river located far from the west-end zoo where the animals escaped five days ago.
The fugitive capybaras, dubbed Bonnie and Clyde, escaped from the High Park Zoo on Monday. The tale of the missing giant South American rodents has since made headlines and spawned several unconfirmed sightings across the city.
A father and son spotted two animal carcasses floating in Rouge River, near the border of Scarborough and Markham, on Friday. Photos of the bodies appear to show small, four-legged animals covered in patchy fur.
“It looked like the one capybara, and about 40 (or) 50 feet down was a second one,” Darren Simpson said.
The area where the remains were found is at least 30 kilometres from the High Park zoo.
“We’re a long ways from High Park. So, I don’t know. (There are) a lot of questions behind that,” Simpson said.
In a statement on Saturday, a Toronto Parks official said the department has heard reports about the animal carcasses in Rouge River and is looking into it.
“As with all credible sightings we are investigating,” said Toronto Parks policy and project advisor Megan Price, adding that they would let the public know if a discovery is made.
No confirmed capybara sightings were made Friday, Price said. Anyone who believes they spotted a capybara is asked to call 311.
Simpson later tweeted that he called 311 and was told that “the photos were deer and they don't deal with dead animals in water.”
He added: “They were not deer.”
Other people have taken their alleged sightings to Twitter.
“#Capybara spotted just south of Bloor on Lansdowne (506 - 508) at 1pm. Reported to 311 but not heard anything since,” tweeted user Lizzie Lamb.
#Capybara spotted just south of Bloor on Lansdowne (506 - 508) at 1pm. Reported to 311 but not heard anything since.— Lizzie Lamb (@Lizzlar_Lamb) May 28, 2016
With files from CP24