The Zika virus could be the least of golfers’ worries in Rio as reports emerge of mutant, enormous rodents lurking around the water hazards of the Olympic golf course.

The majority of the world’s best players have withdrawn from the summer games, citing the risk of contracting the mosquito-borne Zika virus, but there are still some of golf’s biggest name in Brazil – Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler, to name a few.

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Now, the latest hazard to confront golfers is the capybara – the world’s largest rodent and a native to South America. The rodents can grow up to 1.2 metres in length and 60 kilograms. The heaviest ever recorded in Brazil weighed 91kg.

Lucky for Bubba and co, they are herbivores and non-threatening to humans. In the US, they are often kept illegally as pets.

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Mark Johnson, who oversees courses on the US PGA Tour said golfers would be playing on a Gil Hanse-designed course where approximately 40 capybaras live.

“They chew down on the grass at night,” Johnson said.

“There are about 30 to 40 of them inside the course perimeter, but they live here and we play golf here. We coexist.”

Zika-carrying mosquitos, 2-metre caimans (mini-alligators), monkeys, boa constrictors, sloths – and of course the risk of being kidnapped in Rio.

That’s why the world’s best golfers all pulled out of Rio.

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