As Louisiana’s statewide elections, scheduled for Saturday, entered the final stretch of campaigning, one state senator used the image of an unlikely hero for the trail: a nutria rat .
Earlier this year, Louisiana Department of Fish and Wildlife agents removed “Neuty” from the family who had raised him since they discovered him orphaned on the side of the road on Christmas Day 2020 .
Private ownership of wildlife in the Pelican State is illegal.
Their State Senator, Cameron Henry, contacted Governor John Bel Edwards and the agency to protect the Lacoste family’s beloved pet.
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“Of all the things that are wrong in Louisiana, removing Neuty from his family is not what we should be doing,” Henry said.
Ultimately, under immense public pressure and a petition signed by nearly 20,000 people, the Louisiana Department of Fish and Wildlife relented. The Lacoste family is now the proud owner of the one and only coypu legally authorized in Louisiana.
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Neuty’s owners Denny and Myra Lacoste are grateful for all the effort to bring their coypu home after a brief stint at the Baton Rouge Zoo.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Denny Lacoste discussed Neuty’s popularity following his high-profile release.
“Everyone loved him and loved his story. I mean, it wasn’t a secret. We have customers who come to see him all the time,” Denny said.
The Lacoste family also owns and operates Dennis’ Seafood in Metairie, where Neuty can be found almost daily munching on fresh crab legs and Nilla Wafers with his signature orange teeth.
When he’s not feasting on fresh seafood, Neuty enjoys spending time swimming in the Lacoste’s saltwater pool, sticking his head out the window on car rides, or “annoying” their dogs.
Classic rock radio station “The Bayou,” broadcast on 95.7 FM in the greater New Orleans area, has also caught Neuty fever, making the rodent its official mascot.
Neuty made his political debut this year with his story and baby photo gracing Cameron Henry’s latest mail.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Henry praised Neuty’s presence in his campaign.
“[I] I literally can’t tell you what the value was, and I didn’t do it for that,” Henry said. “I did it because it was the right cause. And if I want to, you know, I had to use it in a letter because everyone expected it. They love to see it.”
However, not all political documents seen in Louisiana with Neuty’s face are trustworthy. A determined prankster placed fake signs with the slogan “Less Paths, More Snacks” in Jefferson Parish.
Myra Lacoste, the mother of Neuty the coypu, assured Fox News Digital “Neuty did not make these signs.”
The future of Neuty the coypu after election day is quite lagniappe.
“People are calling us every day. I just want Neuty here, I want Neuty there. He was in a documentary a few months ago,” Denny Lacoste said.
“A big production company called from England a month ago. They came here, shot a series on him for a few days. It’s just crazy. I don’t know. I think Cam has a good photo thanks to Neuty. “
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Louisiana’s statewide elections will take place on Saturday, October 14.