A while back I told you about the beaver living in my little pond (which is really just a small bit of wetland). Since then the beaver has built his lodge, which I have a great view of from my bedroom window, and continued to try to keep the water level up, by blocking the culvert. My son and I have also been learning more about beavers and watched a very cool video which showed how they build their lodges, raise their young, and even shelter other animals in their lodges over the winter like muskrats, frogs, and filed mice. They also can make lush ecosystems out of deserts and help retain our wetlands which many areas of the country are spending big $ to replace. Bottom line, beavers are cool and we should try to live with them.
Unfortunately, the town I live in didn't bother to do any research on beavers or how to live with them and this weekend traps were set, either of which could easily have injured or killed a dog or any other animal who wandered into the shallows. My plan was to call the town first thing this morning and protest and explain how there were other things to do besides killing the beaver, like installing a beaver deceiver or a beaver fence or an 'excosure,' Any one of these things might have allowed the beaver and us to live happily as well as prevent future problems like a new beaver moving in and causing the same problems.
Sadly, my neighbor just informed me that the second trap they set did its job and the beaver is now dead.
I will still be calling my town office this morning to find out who authorized this and why the action was taken on a weekend, thereby preventing any protest from being lodged. I will also be writing a letter to my local paper, outlining my disappointment over the town's actions and point out that while they might have killed this beaver, there may well be another one to take its place next spring.
Now, you may wonder why am I expending all this energy over a beaver when there are far worse things happening all over the world. I guess my answer would be that this is my neighborhood, my street, and I believe that we should all be able to live here peaceably. Silly maybe. Naive for sure. But if I can't do something to try make that happen here, then how can I expect it to happen anywhere else?
Anyway. Sad Monday for the beaver, but I hope you'll take the message and spread it.
ps for more information about beavers check this site, and the PBS show, Leave it to Beavers, available on Netflix streaming. Very cool.