If your plan for this relatively mild Friday evening was to grab a bag of cans and head to the canal, I would rethink that plan. A positively terrifying sounding creature was spotted near the Ashtown area of the canal close to Castleknock.
Dublin Live have described the rodent as:
A "Giant rat-like creature that's bigger than a family dog"
The creature called a Coypu is a larger semi-aquatic rodent up to one meter long with a weight of between 5-9 kg, it has webbed hind feet, dark fur and large bright orange-yellow front teeth. It is said that he could be mistaken for a "bulky otter", but don't be fooled. The Coypu's defining features are large yellow bucked teeth, similar to wotsit crisps you can't miss them.
Waterways Ireland have issued a warning to people about the Coypu, which is listed as an "invasive alien species" due to the damage it causes.
Waterways Ireland wishes to advise all users of a large invasive rodent species that are highly damaging to River, Lake and Canal banks have been possibly sighted on the Royal Canal near Ashtown, Dublin.
If you do spot the creature, Waterways Ireland advises in cap locks to stress the point:
PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ENGAGE, TRAP OR HARM THESE ANIMALS
Simply take a photo of your sighting and sent it on to them, the details can be found here. This isn't the first sighting of a Coypu in Ireland, they were last spotted in Cork in 2017.
As the Coypu is classified as an "invasive alien species" under EU regulations Ireland is obliged to eradicate this species from the wild.
Between that and the newspaper descriptions, you would almost feel sorry for the little critter, or not so little critter in this case.