MYSTERY ANIMAL: When the year-end stories come in, as they're just about to, we won't be surprised when we see the return of the "Mystery Roaming Rodent of Paso Robles" story. Remember that one, from, oh, back in the summertime? A couple of guys at a water treatment plant saw a strange beastie lumbering about. Nope, it wasn't a case for Ripley's Believe it or Not; it was a capybara, an animal that happens to hold the distinction of the world's largest rodent. Some would say it is also the world's cutest rodent -- a more subjective category, to be sure -- and the new photos coming out of the San Diego Zoo support this assertion. The institution just announced the birth of a capybara, and provided the awww-sweet pictures to prove it.
BABY CABY: No name has been given yet, but the photos show the animal nuzzling with a grown-up cabybara (a cabyparent?) and scampering about some hay. We realize we asserted that a capybara lumbers earlier, and now we said it scampers, but perhaps trots is the better word to use here. Regardless, you can see the capybaras at the zoo; there are also some new female maned wolves making some waves. Call it a peaceful respite during the holidays, a little wolf- and capybara-based time.