Wag the beaver?

   Posted by heidi08 On April - 12 - 2013

Belarus is the land of more than 10 thousand lakes and 20 thousand rivers. Due to its water expanses Belarus is often called “a blue-eyed country”. A great number of folktales are connected with lakes, springs and rivers.

Sigh. Do you ever get the feeling that the whole of beaver news is controlled by this enormously powerful cartel that will NOT allow a single positive news cycle regarding the animal to exist unchallenged? I’m imagining a ‘wag the dog-type’ war room with multiple video screens where they constantly monitor the tone of beaver news around the world for positive threads that would threaten the supervillan-esq international campaign to eliminate beavers forever. And when a story like San Jose starts soaking the airways with good feeling and benevolence they BANG! SLAM! BLAST! insert one of their own, guaranteed to eclipse it many, many times over.

Well, okay. Maybe its just me. Certainly this happened (is happening, will have happened) with the horrific  Belarus story. The fisherman who was bitten twice near Lake Shestakov and died from the blood loss because his companions could not stop the bleeding. One story reported a local Dr. saying that he probably would be alive if they had used a tourniquet (which is kind of stunning because isn’t that the first aid you learn in 4th grade?)  Sometimes the story appears with other footage taken earlier in the month in another region of a beaver lunging at the cameraman who falls – a la the blair witch project. Sometimes its said that the video is from the attack itself, which isn’t possible since it was posted weeks before the story broke. It doesn’t matter, the story is a mashed up flaming fireball of fear now, hurtling around the globe. The man’s name isn’t being released so no awkward facts can hamper its freefall course and I can’t find a photo of the lake on the whole enormity of google because if you try to look it up there are literally hundreds and hundreds of pages with mug shots of fanged beavers and mislabeled nutria, groundhogs or muskrats trying to recreate the grisly scene of the crime.

Better kill the next one you see! Every mother with children is thinking. they might be rabid! Never mind that we even don’t know if this beaver was rabid because it ran away after biting him. The friends of the man speculated it was rabid because it was early morning and the beaver was walking and obviously beavers NEVER do that. Sigh. I can’t help it, a fantasy has popped in my mind that this was a young disperser leaving the pond for the first day of life on his own. Of course he was frightened, jumpy, scared. A scene from a James Dean movie where the hero over-reacts with tragic consequences that ruin his life forever, and scar countless others. (Stop that, Heidi!)

Well, the secret underground beaver lobby has more resources, better networks and for some reason it is remarkably easier to believe that beavers are murderers than it is to understand that beavers are good for salmon. I give up. You win this round handily, but all I can say is that our San Jose success must have really, really gotten their attention.

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Family of beavers found living in downtown San Jose

By Paul Rogers

A family of beavers has moved into Silicon Valley, taking up residence along the Guadalupe River in the heart of downtown San Jose.

The discovery of the three semi-aquatic rodents — famous for their flat tails, furry brown coats and huge teeth — a few hundred yards from freeways, tall office buildings and the HP Pavilion represents the most high-profile Bay Area resurgence of beavers since a beaver family settled in Martinez in 2006, sparking national headlines when city leaders at first tried to remove them, then backed down after public outcry.

As word about their new home spreads, the animals also are being held up as a symbol of the slow but steady environmental recovery of San Francisco Bay and its streams after decades of pollution and sprawl — a hopeful sign of the resilience of nature in the nation’s 10th largest city.

“Our female beaver produced 15 live births. They’ve all dispersed,” said Heidi Perryman, president of Worth a Dam, a Martinez nonprofit that advocates for that city’s beavers. “They could be in San Jose. There’s certainly a chance.”

There are still four beavers living in Martinez. Flood control concerns were reduced by putting a pipe in the beaver dam that regulates the flow of water. So if the water gets too high, it drains out downstream.

Beavers Return to San Jose

Post on Apr 11, 2013 by Samantha Clark from KQED

The swallows may not be flocking back to Capistrano these days, but the beavers have returned to San Jose.  Even when they’re not receiving guests, curled wood shavings and girdled willow trees give the critters away. It started when a lone beaver was spotted in the Guadalupe River, just across the street from HP Pavilion in downtown San Jose.

Thrilled, the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy set up a trail camera to monitor its activity.

Then another beaver appeared.  “I jumped up out of my chair and high-fived my wife and hugged her when I saw the second beaver,” said Greg Kerekes of the conservancy, after going through the camera footage.

Soon, he discovered that three beavers, a pregnant mother and her two yearlings, were keeping house at the confluence of the Guadalupe River and Los Gatos Creek. A family indicates they will likely settle, said conservancy executive director Leslee Hamilton.

Environmental educators hope the beavers will stay because they benefit wildlife and can help teach children about watersheds.

In 2007, a family of beavers also colonized Alhambra Creek in downtown Martinez.  “You could sit at Starbucks, drink your morning coffee and watch kits (young beavers) play,” said Heidi Perryman, president of Worth a Dam, a beaver advocacy organization.  Since the beavers have settled in Martinez, the ecosystem has flourished, seeing at least 13 new species.

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