Local News


UPDATE: Exotic rodent at veterinarian after getting loose in Las Vegas

Witnesses say Patagonian mara was thrown from car
Posted at 4:20 PM, Apr 20, 2017

UPDATE APRIL 21: 13 Action News tracked down where the near endangered rodent is currently being held in Las Vegas. We're not disclosing the location for the safety and welfare of the animal. 

According to the veterinarian's office, the rodent is still shaken up and scared. 13 Action News was told the animal does not have a microchip. Health officials believe he is not domesticated. 

The only injury on the Patagonian mara was a scratch on the nose. 

After he gets a full health examination, officials will find a sanctuary for the rodent.

Clark Country says a Patagonian mara isn't an exotic animal under its code, meaning a permit is not required. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may require one.

Regardless, it is still a misdemeanor to let a pet loose.


LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- A large rodent native to South America was found running around a Las Vegas parking lot.

The exotic animal, known formally as a Patagonian mara, was first reported around 2:10 p.m. in a strip mall parking lot near Sahara Avenue and Decatur Boulevard. Around 3 p.m., Clark County Animal Control officers, with the help of Las Vegas police, captured the rodent.

The Patagonian mara was brought to the county's animal shelter at The Animal Foundation. Clark County reported at this time, it is not known who owns the animal.

Find out more about the Patagonian mara in the video below.

The Patagonian mara, a large rodent found in Argentina and Chile, resembles a giant rabbit or a small deer.

Amber Ryan said she and her kids were stopped at a light at Sahara Avenue and Decatur Boulevard when a car pulled up and someone tossed the animal onto the street.

“A black, 4-door car opened up and threw this little animal out," Ryan said. "They have no regard for the animal's safety at all."

The rodent ran around the parking lot as Clark County Animal Control tried to catch it.

“It was running scared. People got it corralled under a car. And they're trying to pull the legs, trying to get it out," Ryan said.

Finally, officers trapped the runaway rodent loaded it onto their truck to take it to the shelter.

"It's Vegas, so you never know what you're going to see. It doesn't surprise me anymore what you find and what you see on the road," Ryan said.