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Patagonian mara, a rodent native to South America, spotted roaming the Colorado desert

Patagonian mara, a rodent native to South America, spotted roaming the Colorado desert

Patagonian mara, a rodent native to South America, spotted roaming the Colorado desert

There’s a furry fugitive on the loose.

Wildlife officials are trying to capture an adorable rabbit-like rodent native to South America that was spotted frolicking in the mountains of Colorado.

The exotic Patagonian mara, a small creature about two to three feet tall, has been spotted by rangers, hikers and visitors at Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood, Colorado, about 15 miles from downtown Denver, officials told 9 News.

The Patagonian mara has been spotted roaming around Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood, Colorado. Reg Cox via Storyful

“They are a larger rodent species, although they have fairly long ears like a rabbit and legs that look almost like a deer,” Denver Zoo animal care specialist Kat Emanuel told the outlet.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are now trying to catch the furry little friend and find him a new home, but so far have been unsuccessful.

Patagonian maras are long-eared, hoofed rodents covered in a “stiff, dense and very fine” coat of gray-brown fur, with a white spot in the center of the body and an orange tint around the flanks and head, according to the National Zoo.

They are found mainly in grasslands and scrublands in central and southern Argentina.

The animal is classified as “near threatened” according to the wildlife conservation status and can live approximately 14 years under human care.

Authorities believe the escaped rodent may have been someone’s pet and is used to being around people, given the number of park visitors who have seen the little guy wandering around the desert.

They are found mainly in grasslands and scrublands in central and southern Argentina. Reg Cox via Storyful

“It could be concerning. That type of behavior, he’s probably not used to being aware of a lot of dangers in his environment if this is the case,” said Emily Insalaco, senior director of animal care at the Denver Zoo.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials have placed live traps around the area using “a combination of fruits and vegetables” since the mara is a herbivore, the outlet reported.

CPW spokeswoman Kara Van Hoose hopes the traps will attract the furry creature so it can find a more protected life for the mara here in the U.S.

The animal is classified as “near threatened” according to the wildlife conservation status and can live approximately 14 years under human care. Reg Cox via Storyful

“We don’t know because we don’t know anything about the animal itself,” Insalaco said. “We don’t know its temperament. The main thing would be to get it to a safe place and make sure it’s healthy and then we can go from there.”

Authorities have asked the public to keep an eye out for the small animal, but if you see it, do not approach the animal, feed it or try to take a photo with the mara.

If they capture it, they plan to investigate whether the mara was domesticated and whether anyone kept the tiny creature as a pet.