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MORE beavers?

A couple of days ago, someone found a beaver wandering around a Devon farm.  They called the RSPCA who, unused to the capture of beavers as a routine activity, accidentally chased it into a slurry pit, where it was apprehended and taken to Dartmoor Zoo to be cleaned off :  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-17805465

Now, we knew there was a beaver wandering around the area. Three years ago, someone who keeps beavers (why? I know not) up the river in Lifton lost three of them, and only managed to get two of them back. We have all been on the alert for the Gunnislake Beaver ever since - but nobody has managed to find him.

So, mathematically, one beaver lost = one beaver found, yes? Well, apparently not. The lost beaver was a whopping great big one. The found beaver....is a cute little baby beaver with a seriously mean attitude - in other words, he doesn't seem to be terribly familiar with people.  The other two beavers we know were on the lam for a bit three years ago were caught well before they could have reproduced. 

How many beavers are out there? Beavers are supposed to have been extinct in Britain for 400-odd years! Baby beaver (named Baz) has been sent to Lifton to the beaver enthusiast, on the grounds that he will know what to do with him. But now I am definitely on the lookout for toothmarks on trees!

The previous owner of Dartmoor Zoo was firmly of the belief that wild lynx sometimes came into his park and visited the zoo lynx. I wonder if he was right, and if he was, if the beavers come from the same mysterious source.  


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
25th Apr, 2012 14:21 (UTC)
I used to collect big cat sightings clippings from newspapers, but there seem to have been something of a dearth of them in the last few years. Alas!
24th Apr, 2012 20:11 (UTC)
Ooh how exciting! I
25th Apr, 2012 05:31 (UTC)
Sorry, LJ fell over. Wanted to say:
Ooh how exciting! I know they were talking about reintroducing beavers in Scotland; sounds as if they have managed it in Devon. (unless these are American beavers of course, in which case I suppose it isn't so much a reintroduction as a grey-squirrel-style invasion)
25th Apr, 2012 14:07 (UTC)
I have found a further article :

(It's from the Daily Mail, but there were three stories, Metro, Telegraph & DM, and the DM seemed the one that is most accurate based on what the zoo and the Beaver Man said to the local TV news!)

The Lifton Beaver Man's beavers were apparently intended for the potential Scottish release. But Scotland is a lot bigger and less crowded!
24th Apr, 2012 23:11 (UTC)
Oh that is exciting! I just hope they don't end up making a nuisance of themselves and become classed as a pest.
25th Apr, 2012 14:25 (UTC)
It would be an interesting conundrum if they are actually European beavers. If they had survived the last 400 years, they would certainly be protected now!

I think the fishermen might be a bit miffed? Though I would have thought the otters would be more of an issue for them, and they just have to put up with those!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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