Sports News

Rio golfers must be snappy with alligators lurking

An aerial view of the construction site of the Rio 2016 Olympic Golf venue in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, July 29, 2015. Rio de Janeiro starts the one year countdown to host the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Wednesday, August 5.. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Slow rounds are common in world golf but players competing at the Olympics in August may need to be snappier than usual as they will have alligators, capybaras and other wildlife for company.

The new Olympic golf course was built in a spectacular area surrounded by lagoons that are home to several species of wild animals including alligators, according to local media reports.

At least five biologists will be on hand in case the reptiles need to be moved away from players or spectators, said the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper.

Authorities are also set to erect signs issuing warnings about the nearby wildlife.

Golf is returning at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics after a 112-year absence from the Games and the course was built a few miles from the neighborhood of Jacarepegua, which means Alligator Lagoon.

Rivers in local parks are filled with alligators while capybaras, the world’s largest rodents, are also commonly sighted.

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Tony Jimenez