It was a warm summer night. Doug and Carolyn Knutson were out on a stroll around the wetlands near their Belleville home when they saw something in the water: the local beaver. They’d seen beavers in this habitat for all the years they’d lived in town, but this time something was different.
The beaver was caught in a foot-hold trap, set as part of a drowning kit to kill the beaver in an attempt to protect infrastructure. Thanks to fortune, timing, good neighbours, and a brief moment of Herculean strength, the beaver was released from the trap, and, from all accounts, survived. But it led to questions: why was there a trap in this urban park? Why were beavers being targeted? What could be done?
Through a maze of provincial and local policy, Doug, Carolyn, and their group of neighbours and friends discovered the city had hired a trapper to remove beavers from a culvert site regularly blocked by dams. Such damming activity can lead to serious infrastructure issues, including washing out roads and damaging homes. They reached out to The Fur-Bearers for assistance last year. And last week, Skip Lisle, international beaver co-existence expert and inventor of the Beaver Deceiver, drove into Belleville to install two flow devices and teach City staffers the basics of co-existence.
Defender Radio Podcast – Live In The Field
You can hear more about the entire project by listening to the latest episode of our Defender Radio Podcast, and explore the installations in the photo gallery below. The Fur-Bearers’ involvement in this was made entirely possible by your donations. Help us continue to save lives across Canada by donating to our beaver co-existence campaign by clicking here. As little as $5 per month or a one-time gift of $10 makes a difference!
We’d like to send a special thanks to the Knutsons and the Finkles, the hardworking City of Belleville crews, Councillor Kelly McCaw, Mayor Mitch Panciuk, and of course, Skip Lisle of Beaver Deceivers International. Together you saved lives, protected infrastructure, and safeguarded a habitat that is home to dozens, if not hundreds of species.
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