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Giant rats, raccoons, and wallabies now living in the wild in Ireland

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Coypus have been sighted in several counties

Coypus have been sighted in several counties

Chinese Muntjac

Chinese Muntjac

Siberian chipmunk

Siberian chipmunk

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Coypus have been sighted in several counties

Farmers have been urged to be on the lookout for unusual creatures following an increase in the number of invasive species such as raccoons, wallabies and chipmunks found living in the wild across the country.

Over the past five years the National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC) has recorded thousands of invasive mammal species living in the countryside, including 21 separate sightings of coypu, a giant South American rat which weighs as much as 9kg and can grow up to 60cm in length.

Nine of the sightings have been in Co Cork, including in Kinsale, Rosscarbery and Cork city. There have also been confirmed sightings in Galway, Tipperary, Limerick, Dublin and Northern Ireland.