So last week I briefly talked about the Common Agoutis in Costa Rica. They were my favourite mammal I saw (apart from maybe the cheeky raccoon) and I think the reason for this is that I was able to spend so much time watching them. We first came across an adult with a juvenile. Although the juvenile hid from us, the adult was quite happy to walk around in front of us whilst scavenging for food. This was very interesting, given that most wild animals run away from humans when they see them. Our guide in Monteverde was telling us that even pumas ran away from the people building the paths! I assumed that the agouti must have been confident in front of us because Manuel Antonio gets so many visitors. However, once a noisy pair of tourists came round the corner, the agoutis ran away. So maybe my friend and I were just very lucky and very quiet!
I quit like this picture on the left because you can see that it really is a rodent! The way it sits and holds the food, I think it looks just like a squirrel. But when it walks, it looks very different because the legs are long and look more like sheep legs than rodent legs. I don’t know why this is, but perhaps it keeps the belly off the ground or out of the water that it walks through.
After the first two were scared away, we moved on down the path and saw a few more agoutis in the undergrowth here and there. We only saw the agoutis on a small peninsula between Espallida Sur beach and Manuel Antonio beach. I assume that agoutis inhabit the rest of the park and we might have easily seen them here because the undergrowth and foliage was less thick. There was also a lot of freshwater on the peninsula, which could attract them.
Here’s a video of one of the agoutis. You can see how close I got and also how confident it was (I didn’t use zoom). Enjoy!