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A burrowing owl sits near the ninth green. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
On the course where Olympic golf made its official return after a 112-year absence Thursday, there's all the normal pratfalls that players can find on just about any track in the world: bunkers, sloping greens, trouble areas.
And here, there's also capybaras, caimans and corujas.
Built in what was a nature reserve in western Rio _ which sparked ultimately futile lawsuits over environmental concerns _ the course has been a source of debate for some time.
So among the fans who paid somewhere between $16 and $32 for tickets for each round of the Olympic tournaments, there's also the native animals. The capybara is a large rodent, the caiman a small crocodile and the corujas are burrowing owls _ some of whom have taken up residence in the course's bunkers.
Here's a look at some images captured by AP photographers from the course:
A corujas, or burrowing owl, looks out from its burrow in a bunker on the ninth hole. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
An owl sits near the ninth hole as players walk down the fairway. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
A capybara, or large rodent, cools off in the water by the second hole. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Rafa Cabrera Bello, of Spain, left, pretends to push Bernd Wiesberger, of Austria, towards the water as Sergio Garcia, of Spain, right, look at a capybara in the water. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)