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CENTRAL PARK ROUNDUP TARGETS FREED GUINEA PIGS

New York must be the only city in the world with a guinea pig hot line.

It's the toll-free number for sightings of the furry creatures in Central Park, where dozens were set loose last week anonymously.

"We hope they come in from the cold," Parks Commissioner Henry Stern said Saturday. Park rangers "are still out there in the pouring rain looking for them."

By Saturday morning, two days after they scampered into the Manhattan wilderness, 33 had been rescued and awaited adoption; another dozen or so were still lost, Stern said.

As many as 50 of the small, brownish animals were released Thursday night in the park's East Meadow near 100th Street, said Ed Skyler, a Parks Department spokesman. He said a park worker saw a man setting the guinea pigs free, and visitors to the park also reported seeing them.

"It's illegal to release an animal in the middle of the city," said Stern, adding that a parks foundation is offering a reward of $500 for information leading to the perpetrator.

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