'Coypu rodents may be cute - but the damage they do can be deadly'
Last week's call-out to the public to report sightings of the metre-long rodent-like coypu - after one was spotted in Cork - was a refreshingly frank act at a time when politically correct procrastination is so common.
The coypu is a native of South America and it's believed that they escaped into the wild, having been brought to Ireland as an attraction on a pet farm.
The National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) has trapped 10 coypus in the Cork area in the past two years while one was previously found swimming in a Tipperary river.
NPWS conservation ranger Danny O'Keeffe says the coypu can cause "a lot of damage". Their burrowing can cause extensive harm to river banks and flood defences. They also destroy root crops and eat bird eggs.
The NPWS is acting to prevent the problem become a major one.
There was no talk about captured animals being rehomed; they are going to be euthanased.
This triggered a now-common emotional and uninformed response on social media along the lines of 'how could eating a few roots be harmful to the environment?' and that no one should grass on such adorable little creatures.
The NPWS is obviously anxious to avoid a repeat of the scenario in Britain, where the coypu was introduced in 1929 to be farmed for their fur.