iN VIDEO: B.C. Wildlife Park staff have their hands full with these baby beavers | Kamloops News | iNFOnews

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iN VIDEO: B.C. Wildlife Park staff have their hands full with these baby beavers

Alder and Willow will live at the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops for two years before they are released into the wild.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / B.C. Wildlife Park
September 18, 2020 - 12:05 PM

While rehabilitating wild animals is no easy feat, these baby beavers are a whole new challenge for staff at the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops.

Alder was found wandering down a road in Coldstream near Vernon in late May, and Willow was found under a bridge in Kelowna about a week later.

Since their rescue, these two have gotten older, which means they're a little bigger and a lot more rambunctious.

When the baby beavers first arrived at the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops, they had to be fed milk as they were very young.
When the baby beavers first arrived at the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops, they had to be fed milk as they were very young.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / B.C. Wildlife Park

“Certainly the challenge is their nature, they chew on things," animal care manager Tracy Reynolds said.  "They chew on everything, so they’re fairly destructive, fairly aquatic, and very messy.”

The pair have recently chewed a hole in their plastic swimming tub, she said. The park is looking for donations to buy the beavers a chew-proof, metal one instead. 

That's not the only thing these beavers will need during their time at the park.

"They eat a lot of fresh greens, and fresh vegetables, so that’s just something we have to buy on a weekly basis," Reynolds said. “We’re actually also modifying one of our old structures here at the park to be a pool for them in the summer for next year."

Because beavers typically stay with their family units for two years, that's how long Alder and Willow will stay at the wildlife park. As they will eventually be reintroduced to the wild, they won't be on public display like some of the other animals.

“It’s a balancing act between being able to care for them and not having them get too habituated to you," she said. “We try to be as hands-off as we can… because the ultimate goal is to release them."

When they are old enough, staff hope they'll be able to release the pair together, as the two have bonded since their arrival at the park. 

Finding the correct habitat for Alder and Willow will be tricky, as beavers can cause some havoc in a residential setting. 

“Obviously it’ll be a bit of a tricky situation, nobody really wants them in their backyards,” Reynolds said. “We are going to get some advice and use some environmental consultants to help us with that.”

Until then, the two beavers will continue to gain strength and practice their swimming under the care of wildlife park staff.

To donate to the B.C. Wildlife Park, click here. 


To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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