Letter: Rodent, yes; rat, no

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The Independent Online
Sir: As Chairman of the British Capybara Appreciation Society, I write to register outrage at the slur on these noble animals contained in Simon Calder's article on South America (8 August). 'Labrador- sized rat', forsooth] These splendid creatures are, of course, unique, but if a comparison must be drawn, it is obvious they are merely very large guinea pigs. This raises the question of how anybody could find a very large guinea pig the most disturbing animal he has ever seen.

Yours faithfully,

M. G. HOPE

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

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