Well something like beaver-scat appears to be hitting the proverbial fan. I got a call yesterday from Donna Dubreuille of Ottawa-Carlton wildlife centre in Canada who said she had just issued a press release about the shadowy fate of Lily and her two kits, the beavers living in Paul Lindsay pond in Stittsville, just outside of Ottawa. You will remember that they were slated to be killed, then saved by very heroic and loud protests for a summer, only to find their lodge ripped out by city staff on the national holiday weekend. Staff later assured local advocates that there were no beavers living there, and no beavers using that lodge, and the media was mostly convinced until Anita posted footage of the most adorable (and tiny) beaver kits that I have ever seen, and then photographed them nursing during the day with mom under a bush because they had no shelter.
You might remember that the mayor agreed to form a wildlife task force to find new ways of dealing with animals in the city and Donna and others were invited to be involved. Meanwhile myself and Mike Callahan exchanged countless emails with staff about flow devices and how they could work in storm water ponds. The city even hired flow device founding father Michel Leclare to build some much-proclaimed flow devices in experimental places where it turned out no beavers were actually living.
All of which is to say that the strategy of Ottawa under the leadership of Mayor Watson is a bifurcated path of transparency and deceit, where they ostentatiously appear to be doing the right thing, and the simultaneously continue merrily on their destructive course doing what they wanted all along. Apparently they have changed their weighty motto from Ut Incepit Fidelis Sic Permanet (loyal, she remains) to the more stream-lined Mirus Illuc! (“Look! Over there!”).
Well, it’s not working too well with the locals. Donna and her wildlife counterparts resigned from the ‘pretend wildlife council’ and released a press release yesterday about the video passed off to Anita as the release of Lily and her kits.
Not since accusations that the moon landing was faked has a video caused such controversy.
A local wildlife group accused the city Wednesday of duping them with footage said to show the relocation and release of three beavers that became the cause celebre of a Stittsville community this summer.
“We’re saying this video proves nothing, but raises more concerns about what happened to the beavers,” said Donna DuBreuil, President of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre, of footage released by the city to the group in early October. “This is not a video of an adult and a kit. These are not the Paul Lindsay Park beavers.”
CFN -Community members and wildlife organizations that opposed the relocation of a family of beavers, Lily and her two kits, from a Stittsville stormwater pond by the city of Ottawa in early September are up in arms.
Although Mayor Jim Watson and Deputy City Manager, Steve Kanellakos, attempted to portray the relocation at the time as a good thing for the beavers, no members of the media or the public were allowed to witness it.
Now, after much pressure, the city finally released a video last week that was supposed to reassure residents that the beavers had actually been released. Instead, it has fuelled concern and cynicism that the beavers may have in fact met a very different end.
The city’s video is purported to show the mother beaver with one of her kits in the water following release, indicating the other kit had dived under water.
Is it a lie?
In a press release issued today community members who have championed the protection of a beaver family in the Stittsville (Ottawa, Ontario) region are condemning the government for what they perceive to be a deliberate attempt to hide the truth. The story is now gaining international attention as a popular California advocacy group has joined the ranks against the local government in Ottawa.
This scathing release comes only weeks after multiple conservation, wildlife and environmental groups walked away from the table with city planners when it was made clear – through inaction – that the groups were merely table settings and not part of the discussion.
Below is the release issued, along with links to the videos which purportedly show the beavers finding their new home.
Mind you all of these reports mention the ‘wildlife group from California” and the video they released arguing that beavers couldn’t possibly grown so big in such a short time. Gulp. One thing’s for sure, the city’s beaver smarts are definately not Worth A Dam.
I’m thinking it hath made a few people mad. I guess it’s safe to say I’m not going to receive an invitation from the mayor to visit Ottawa any time soon.