At 15, Bucky the beaver is getting on in age. The beaver spent the first seven years of his life alone in an enclosure in a London zoo.
Beavers Bucky and Brooke’s new digs.
Bucky, a 15-year-old beaver who now calls Aspen home, enjoys the freedom of his new pond and enclosure this week.
Then, in 2004, he was joined by a one-year-old partner, Brooke, a welcome addition for a very social animal. The two bonded quickly, and have not been apart since then.
The pair spent most of their life at the Storybook Zoo in London.
The zoo has gone through some recent restructuring and needed to find a new home for some of its animals. Bucky and Brooke lived in a fairly small enclosure in London and, in April, the pair of beavers, as well as Wilder, an otter, were moved to Aspen to spend the remainder of their lives.
Thanks to the generosity of Bob Barker, former host of The Price is Right, through Zoocheck Canada, Aspen received a grant to create two new enclosures – one for the beavers and one for Wilder.
The final touches were put on the beaver enclosure by some very dedicated and hardworking staff and volunteers and on Friday, August 3, the pair were released in their new forever home.
Staff at Aspen faces a mix of moving moments; the sadness that comes with inevitable loss of life when animals age or arrive too injured to recover. But there are many extremely uplifting moments too, such as the release of Bucky and Brooke into their new home.
It was a joy to watch the two come out of their crates, look around and wander down into one of the two ponds in their new quarter-acre area.
Since then, they have explored the entire area and settled into their custom-built house decked with pine trees to provide shade. In the early evening, they come out, swim around, munch on cattails and generally appear to be very content beavers indeed.
We are now concentrating on creating a new enclosure for Wilder the otter that is being housed in temporary quarters in the barn.
We all look forward to the day that he too can enjoy life in his new surroundings.
We are very grateful to Bob Barker for his generosity, and hope that he can visit one day to see the results of his donation.
(These articles are contributed by staff at the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary rehabilitates orphaned and injured wildlife with a mandate to educate the public towards a better understanding of local fauna.)