1:02pm Tuesday 29th September 2009
By Rebecca Lowe
THE largest living rodent in the world was spotted scampering across farmland in Totteridge last week.
Hollywood actor David Dayan Fisher, 42, saw the 140-pound, 3ft-long capybara while walking in fields near Darlands Lake on September 20.
The barrel-shaped rodent is not native to English countryside, but is normally found in densely forested areas of South America.
It looks similar to a giant guinea pig, with slightly webbed feet, no tail and a blunt muzzle.
Mr Fisher sighted the creature while walking with his seven-year-old nephew and nine-year-old niece, Louie and Pebbles Fisher.
He said: "We were out walking the dogs and were going through a wooded area very close to the lake, when suddenly Pebbles saw what she thought was a baby cow.
"I looked over and thought it was a deer, but then my nephew suddenly shouted: 'That's what crocodiles eat!'
"I realised he was right, though I had no idea what it was called until we Googled it later.
"It was very distinctive, with a squat body and flat head and a very unusual hop. It seemed to be worried as it was running to the cover of the corn fields as quickly as possible."
Mr Fisher, who has appeared in Charmed, 24 and Stargate Atlantis, and starred in National Treasure with Nicholas Cage, said he was "blown away" by the discovery.
"I've seen quite a lot in my life, but to see this in the Totteridge area was something else.
"I couldn't believe my eyes. It wasn't meant to be here. It was something foreign. I felt like an intrepid explorer discovering something really special."
Have you spotted the Barnet beast scampering across fields near you? If so, please contact Rebecca Lowe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07795 305271.