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January 5, 2009 7:10 AM   Subscribe

An escaped beaver has been felling trees in Devon. The large (six-stone) male escaped an animal sanctuary along with two females when an electric fence was shorted by flooding. His owner thinks he went in search of a mate."We've got traps being made up at the moment," he said. "Using the scent from one of the female beavers, we'll be able to catch the male beaver fairly quickly."

The beaver became extinct in Great Britain in the sixteenth century: Giraldus Cambrensis reported in 1188 that it was to be found only in the Teifi in Wales and in one river in Scotland, though his observations are clearly second hand. In October 2005, six European beavers were reintroduced to Britain in Lower Mill Estate in Gloucestershire; in July 2007 a colony of four European beavers was established at Martin Mere in Lancashire, and there are plans for re-introductions in Scotland and Wales.

See also: Castoreum
posted by chuckdarwin (39 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Six stone? There's a passing chance that beaver could rugby tackle me to the ground.

Movie idea?
posted by Happy Dave at 7:30 AM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nice use of the freshly minted Castoreum tag - 15 more hits and it'l be tied with Santorum. I shall waste my morning imagining the circumstances under which this word would be spoken via semaphore.
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:32 AM on January 5, 2009


Whilst this is a fascinating topic, I prefer to take the opportunity to indulge in puerile puns, so will merely disagree with the immortal Rabbie Burns and say: animal sanctuary owners, try not to cock up your beaver again.
posted by Abiezer at 7:35 AM on January 5, 2009


Sounds like a job for the Beaver Patrol.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:40 AM on January 5, 2009


Agreed Abiezer. And I'd like to contribute this scene from the Naked Gun. "Nice Beaver etc."
posted by rhymer at 7:41 AM on January 5, 2009


The...male escaped...with two females... His owner thinks he went in search of a mate.

Damn, beaver is a PLAYA.
posted by DU at 7:51 AM on January 5, 2009


Usually, I'm all for reintroduction of lost species, but, as a North American I would like to say that our friends across the great pond may have forgotten in the 900 or so years of beaver-free existance just how annoying and destructive beavers can be when competing for wetland space with human development.

Now, I'm also usually in favor of the restoration of wetlands, so when the beavers start flooding Britain's cellars, motorways, car parks, shopping centers, etc. I will be at least partly pleased, but at least you can't say that I didn't warn you.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:58 AM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Damn, beaver is a PLAYA.

Maybe he was not interested in the two they put him in with. Maybe he wasn't interested in females at all. Maybe the females weren't interested in him. There are a lot of different beans on that plate. Oh, look, there's a pinto!
posted by Pollomacho at 8:00 AM on January 5, 2009


Maybe this is the "mate" of British usage, i.e. some to hoist a pint with.
posted by DU at 8:01 AM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Let that one go. He has spirit! Someday, he may be vice-president."
posted by steef at 8:02 AM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I recall they had a group of coypu in East Anglia that escaped from a fur farm; a quick Google says they eradicated the colony, but only after years of effort and millions of quid.
posted by Abiezer at 8:06 AM on January 5, 2009


I could probably catch a beaver with millions of years and efforts of squid.
posted by DU at 8:22 AM on January 5, 2009


When I purchased my video camera, one of the first subjects I recorded were two beavers on the shore of Lake Washington, here in Seattle.
posted by Tube at 8:32 AM on January 5, 2009


In the 900 or so years of beaver-free existance just how annoying and destructive beavers can be when competing for wetland space with human development.

The obvious solution is for us to stop competing for wetland space and just let the beavers have it.
posted by hydropsyche at 8:41 AM on January 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Tube, you were pretty close. Did they reek of Castoreum?
posted by chuckdarwin at 8:50 AM on January 5, 2009


"The large (six-stone) male escaped an animal sanctuary along with two females when an electric fence was shorted by flooding."

So the wet beaver split?
posted by orthogonality at 8:52 AM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Beavers were classified as "fish" by the Roman Catholic Church, so that their meat could be eaten on Fridays.

Make of that what you will.
posted by yhbc at 8:55 AM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Beavers continue to grow throughout their lives. There are some massive beavers out there.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:56 AM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


6 stone = 84lbs, or 38.1kg

I know I wasn't the only one who wondered.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:58 AM on January 5, 2009


The obvious solution is for us to stop competing for wetland space and just let the beavers have it.

The one beaver dam I've seen actually made wetlands, flooding many acres and killing the trees there. I was impressed. (This was at Calvert Cliffs park in Maryland about three years ago.)
posted by exogenous at 9:16 AM on January 5, 2009


The beaver, which is a Canadian symbol, is plodding, promiscuous, and doesn't learn from experience.

Make of that what you will.
posted by orange swan at 9:27 AM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


beaver restore wetlands (of which most places are suffering losses), which many species depend upon. their dams also clean polluted waters by letting silt do its job. the only down side to any of it is human prejudice and competition for space. (and the unwarranted attachment to any and all trees--beavers prefer fast-growers like aspen, birch and willow.)
posted by RedEmma at 9:28 AM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Using the scent from one of the female beavers, we'll be able to catch the male... fairly quickly."

Heh.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:29 AM on January 5, 2009


IOW, beavers are constructive, not destructive.
posted by RedEmma at 9:29 AM on January 5, 2009


My grandfather had a long-running feud with the beavers up at the lake in Quebec where he lived. He hated them varmints (or whatever the French equivalent is). He would stay up all night with a gun next to a tree they were working on, but they were too smart and he died without killing even one. Castor: 1; Beloved Papa: 0.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 9:36 AM on January 5, 2009


So the wet beaver split?

Looks to be the case. We better hire a private dick for this one.
posted by mannequito at 9:38 AM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Perhaps they need to call in... the Belvoir Hunt (hint for non-UK readers).
posted by MuffinMan at 9:46 AM on January 5, 2009


A beaver will get you deep into the bush. Also: Thunderbeavers.
posted by zenon at 9:50 AM on January 5, 2009


An escaped beaver has been felling trees in Devon.

I'm having visions of this beaver and his lady friends operating like a guerrilla lumberjack cult,

"This place hasn't seen our kind in several hundred years, and the trees have forgotten their fear of us. We must force them to remember. Come my darlings, let us begin our reeducation of the flora..."

Movie idea?

Oh yeah. There is lots of potential in this.
posted by quin at 9:50 AM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Without the Beaver, and the European fancy for putting Beavers on their heads (they make very waterproof hats, dotchaknow) I probably wouldn't be sitting here in Winnipeg this morning where the current temperature is somewhere around -29C and the Weather Office has issued a "Windchill Warning".

No doubt, the several million Beavers who live in Manitoba are currently comfy in their dens, too smart to venture out this time of year...
posted by sporb at 9:54 AM on January 5, 2009


comfy in their dens

Lodges, actually. They don't live in dens until after they're struck by lightning and transformed into wolf cubs.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:33 AM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


As a minor derail, I've always been curious about the rumors of a herd of escaped wallabies in the Pennines. Has anyone actually seen (or better photographed) these?
posted by duncan42 at 10:37 AM on January 5, 2009


Escaped horse bursts into cinema
posted by swift at 10:43 AM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Surely we can all get behind Castoroides ohioensis.
posted by Rumple at 11:21 AM on January 5, 2009


Is a plural of beaver beaver? Like buffalo buffalo buffalo, can beaver beaver beaver?
posted by marginaliana at 11:58 AM on January 5, 2009


Alvy, did you mean this Beaver Patrol?

My grade school used to be called Wicker Park Elementary. Owing to a fossil of a giant beaver that was found during excavations for the gym, our basketball team was the Wicker Park Beavers. Now imagine a cartoon history of my formative years, starting with my first day transferring to my new school, followed by thousands of wordless panels as I progress through grade school, high school, then a couple years of college, then a scene of me lying on my back in bed. In the next panel, my eyes are wide as I finally get it. "Oh! Beavers!"

I wish I played basketball. Somehow, the Harlem Globetrotters were invited to play our team for some community event. The lieutenant governor was the referee. Seeing the opportunity for some publicity, he decided to call the game in the favor of our school, and not let the Globetrotters get away with any of their hijinks. I'm sure a lot of people who came to the game would have rather seen the comedy act, but we were in heaven, because our school beat the Globetrotters. THE BEAVERS BEAT THE GLOBETROTTERS!

I wish I'd bought an adult large t-shirt.
posted by hydrophonic at 2:03 PM on January 5, 2009


Escaped horse bursts into cinema


"The horse walked down a corridor before turning round and fleeing through the exit as filmgoers looked on"


Huh.

Wonder what he thought of the film?
posted by CynicalKnight at 4:39 PM on January 5, 2009


It may be all fun ad giggles now, but just wait until you are attacked by a marauding beaver.
CBC Interview with Trucker About Beaver Attack (if the link doesn't work, go here and look for the CBC Interview with Trucker About Beaver Attack link.
posted by dougzilla at 8:27 PM on January 5, 2009


Happy Dave: "Six stone? There's a passing chance that beaver could rugby tackle me to the ground.

Movie idea?
"

"Look, there's nothing in the rulebook that says a beaver can't play rugby."
posted by Rhaomi at 3:02 PM on January 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


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