Adorable giant rodents are roaming around the Olympics' golf course

Capybara in sand Rio Olympics golf course 2016Scott Halleran/GettyOK but they’re kind of cute, right?

As the Olympic golf events begin, most spectators are fixated on an unexpected set of visitors to the course: Capybaras.

These large rodents are native to South America, and the official Rio golf course is home to an estimated 40 of these critters. 

As INSIDER reporter James Grebey noted before the games kicked off, the Golf Channel has reported “three-toed sloths, monkeys, boa constrictors, ground-nesting owls, caimans (a smaller relative of the crocodile), and capybaras chilling on the Olympic venue.”

But the capybaras have become the true Olympic stars with their furry exterior and zen expressions. Just look at this fella, not a care in the world!

Capybara at Olympics golf course Rio 2016 Scott Halleran/GettyThe capybaras have been spotted crossing the course during practice for the Olympians.

Even the official NBC Olympics coverage crew have embraced the capybara “infestation,” realising that playing up the creatures’ involvement with the golf course has been a hit with viewers.

The Olympians out for practice couldn’t help but stop and snap photos of the capybaras relaxing near the water, just taking in the view.

Olympic golfers with capybara on Rio 2016 golf courseRoss Kinnaird/GettySergio Garcia of Spain and Bernd Wiesberger of Austria were captivated by this capybara.

According to Los Angeles Times reporter David Wharton, there is a rule that allows golfers to get a ball out of a burrow without penalty, but there’s nothing to be done if the ball merely lands next to an actual capybara.

“A similar rule exists for dangerous situations, such as shots coming to rest near alligators and beehives, but apparently not for capybaras,” Wharton reported. “A U.S. Golf Assn. staff member said golfers must encourage the docile creatures to move or incur a penalty.”

To (hopefully) get a peek at the capybaras for yourself, head to the NBC Olympics website for a full schedule of all the golf events to come.

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