It’s the winter of the beaver at Aspen Valley.
Just as we thought we’d entered our fall slowdown, managing director Howard Smith was contacted regarding the possible capture of a beaver family located in a municipal drain in the City of London, Ontario. Beavers there have been very active, creating ecosystem changes that many people are concerned about. In response to community concerns, Bonnie Bergsma, ecologist planner for the City of London, has begun to work with a sub-committee of the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee of council, to prepare a wildlife strategy for the city, with an early emphasis on developing protocols for beaver.
Traditionally, when city officials encountered what were considered to be “nuisance” beavers, they would hire someone to trap and kill them. But some of the more progressive cities, such as London, have determined that they would much prefer a non-lethal solution to beaver management. Of course, this presents a problem in some different areas. Number one – it is not easy to capture beavers and a lot of patience is involved in waiting for them to enter the humane trap set to catch them. Number two – the animals need to be taken to a spot not already occupied by other beavers (they are territorial and will battle it out). And, thirdly, it is only a matter of time before another beaver family moves into what they consider an ideal spot to dam and build dens, unless measures are taken to discourage this movement.
If you’re thinking that the beaver news from the Aspen Valley Sanctuary is too good to be true, remember that it was founded by the author of this book, who was the first woman to raise and release orphan beavers successfully. She has definitely made sure the center is imbued at every level with a positive beaver message!
Seriously, read the book. And if you’re feeling jealous about having a beaver in your very own livingroom, then you’re in luck!