Wounded, far from the water, and alone, a female beaver needed help in June 2016. She was only 5 weeks old. Fortunately, the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) was able to admit her into their care. She was assigned patient number 16-946.
“Beavers are incredibly social animals,” AIWC wrote on their GoFundMe page, where they’ve shared this tale. “Both parents raise their young together for 2-3 years before the kits naturally disperse on their own. After extensive research and consultation with other wildlife rehabilitators experienced in caring for beavers, we determined that our young beaver patient needs to similarly remain in care until she is 2-3 years old to properly prepare for her return to life in the wild.”
It didn’t take long for 16-946 to improve, with medical treatment for the wounds to her tail, and a healthy diet (formula at first, then solid foods). But in the year she had been with AIWC, she was alone.
A year later – almost to the day – AIWC rescued another beaver, a two-year-old male who was stuck in a Calgary-area storm drain, and suffering from deep bite wounds. Assigned patient number 17-536, he began healing well, and was moved to an outdoor enclosure – one neighbouring 16-946.
“Beavers are primarily nocturnal, so we didn’t see the two beavers interacting until one evening AIWC staff witnessed them walking along the fence line together,” the AIWC wrote. “Introducing strange beavers to one another can sometimes be very challenging and result in serious injuries, but we were thrilled to see these two bonding together on their own, so the decision was made to slowly make introductions.”
Today, 16-946 and 17-536 are best buddies! They’ll require another year of care at AIWC, but will be released together, giving both of them a better shot at having a happy, healthy family in the wild. If you’d like to support AIWC’s efforts, visit their GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/beaver-finds-a-buddy.