REDDING, California – Turtle Bay’s newest animal, a young male beaver, has a name, Timber.
The rodent came from the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, Minneapolis. Turtle Bay officials say the beaver will live in the Viewable River Aquarium inside the museum.
The 22,000-gallon aquarium, which opens up to the outdoors on the other side of the viewing glass, will be enclosed with netting material to keep birds out. The park will also build a barrier so the beaver can’t dig out.
That’s right, we happily ripped this beaver out of his family imprisoned by Minnesota’s concrete zoo to bring him 2000 miles away where he will be the only beaver in OUR zoo. He’ll grow up without any family whatsoever and since he came at 7 weeks and never had the least beaver training, we hope he won’t dig or build dams. It’ll be fun to watch him grow up, and when he’s stopped being an attraction, we’ll just trade him or euthanize anyway.
Turtle bay reflects the mercenary vision of Redding itself and its CEO is the former city manager, who clearly understands and values wildlife. He took over for the original horticulturist who was mysteriously relieved of duties after only two years. The city bailed out the money hole to the tune of 400,000 dollars. But couldn’t help anymore when the recession hit. Mr. Warren generated some controversy by doing what management types usually do, streamlining, lowering salaries and doubling duties. For everyone but himself that is – he still makes 7600 dollars a week for three days work.
The famed Sundial Bridge that we’ve all seen (funded mostly by the McConnell Foundation) connected Turtle Bay’s south campus to its Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. As a reward for the McConnell generosity, the foundation gets to buy 14 acres of land to build a hotel on, and since its part of the Turtle bay grounds they can avoid paying those pesky union wages. Mr. Warren has said this will keep Turtle Bay well attended, but the hotel will not contribute anything financial to the park, so whether it will actually help is anyone’s guess.
The whole action was challenged as a major land grab and will be on the ballot come November.
And in the meantime, the park is building a NEW river habitat where it will house its lonely beaver so children can gape at him while he swims by underwater. You can imagine how enthusiastic I feel about that.
I have an AMAZING story of beaver resilience to share, but I’ll wait until tomorrow because this story bugs me too much.