At 6:30 a.m. today, Brazilian Adilson da Silva will have the honor of hitting the opening shot in golf’s return to the Olympics after 112 years. But it seems a number of other “natives” have been on the course for some time.
According to numerous reports, the Gil Hanse-designed Reserva de Marapendi course is being frequented by capybaras, a large rodent that, according to Wikipedia, “inhabits savannas and dense forests and lives near bodies of water.” Quoted by the Voice of America, Bob Condon, the media director for the Olympic golf venue, said capybaras “are kind of like a big beaver, a big rat,” while noting that other animals are enjoying the course, as well. “Birds, owls, alligators. You know, it’s like a zoo out here.” Lest you think we’re making this up, the photo above, taken on the course, is from Golf Channel’s Twitter feed.