Sitting on the porch enjoying the beautiful weather of Playa del Carmen at our friends Gavin and Celeste’s house a movement in the bushes caught my eye. Was it a rat? Was it a Guinea Pig? I stood up to investigate and was amazed that the animal did not make a dash for it. Instead, it sat on the grass and waited; waited for what?
I got informed that this cute little/big rodent was, in fact, an Agouti, and it was waiting for its food. It is so cute and pitches up every night for a meal at their house, it even takes a stroll into their house and helps itself to the cat food. It has got so tame and comfortable with Gavin and Celeste that it will take food from their hands. There are several that hang out here; I think Gavin and Celeste’s home is the restaurant of choice in the Agouti community.
The Agouti is of the rodent species and looks very similar to a cane rat or a Guinea Pig. The hair is very coarse and rises into spikes when it is alarmed. The Agouti is a gentle creature and will make themselves at home if you show it hospitality. They stand on their hind feet when they eat and hold their food with their front paws; they eat very fast, and if you plan on feeding them, they love spaghetti.
For me the most fascinating aspect is that they mate for life – they pair bond, isn’t that amazing. The gestation period is three months, and they can have up to two litters a year, usually birthing two to four babies.
So if you ever get to see one of these critters don’t think it as an oversized rat or something that will harm you, they are gentle and shy creatures and definitely will do you no harm other than asking for food.
How great is our God that created such sweet creatures.