A monster three-foot rat has been discovered in Tipperary

Footage of the rat in his shelter in Kildare
Footage of the rat in his shelter in Kildare

A river rat three times the size of the average Irish rat has been discovered living in Tipperary.

The animal, which is thought to be a native of South America, is now being cared for by the Kildare Animal Foundation after being discovered in Tipperary last week.

Nicknamed Swampy by his minders, who spoke to the Irish Sun, the rat is a native of South American rivers and swamps (hence the name) and is technically known as a coypu.

The animal is presumed to have escaped or been released by a collector.

It is about the size of a dog, weighs in at 6kg and is thought to have been in the wild for about a fortnight before being discovered.

The animal, who the Kildare group hope to find a home for, has been largely quiet but he has done some 'hissing and growling' to warn his minders not to get too close.

UPDATE: Now here he is in video from the Kildare shelter and while he is still huge, he is also a good bit cuter than we thought.