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The nutria (Myocastor coypus), a large, semi-aquatic rodent native to South America, was originally brought to the United States in 1889 for its fur. When the nutria fur market collapsed in the 1940s, thousands of nutria were released into the wild by ranchers who could no longer afford to feed and house them. Entrepreneurs began selling the herbivores to control noxious weeds. Wildlife agencies further expanded the range of the nutria by introducing the species into new areas of the United States. While the nutria did devour weeds and overabundant vegetation, they also destroyed aquatic vegetation, crops, and wetland areas.