Beavers have always had a special place here at Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, and we have reported previously on our groups.
Arrival of Maka makes ten beavers at Aspen.
Maka, still wet after her swim, recently arrived at Aspen Valley.
Bucky and Brooke are the two older beavers sent to us from Storybook Zoo in London, Ontario, after they shut down the animal part of their park.
They are permanent guests now, and their lovely large pond area is currently under construction, next to Banshee’s enclosure.
Thanks to Bob Barker (The Price is Right), we received funding to build this enclosure and soon visitors will be able to meet these two elderly “states beavers”.
Five last year
The five (Beatrix, Justin Beaver, Red, Brown and Green) that arrived last year as tiny bundles of fluff are all huge now, and have been transferred to another new enclosure at the back of the property where they can continue to learn how to build dens and make dams.
It was wonderful to watch as they came out of their crates and experienced a real pond for the first time.
Each in turn swam around diving and exploring all the various nooks and crannies of their new home. It didn’t take long for them to start hollowing out the banks and building safe areas to rest. Aside from the trees already in their enclosure, they periodically receive large bunches of aspen for them to practice their building skills, to prepare them for a successful release.
A few weeks ago, we wrote the story of Monty and Jessie, two baby beavers who came from different parts of Ontario. Monty was found alone under a dock and Jessie’s parents were trapped and killed in northern Ontario. They quickly bonded with each other and have grown by leaps and bounds.
Last week, we received a call from another rehabber asking for information on how to raise a baby beaver that they had received.
They named her Maka, the Sioux word for “earth”, and she was their first experience with this species.
After discussion, they agreed that the best thing for Maka was that she be brought to Aspen Valley to join Monty and Jessie, so that she could learn the appropriate skills. And so, after a very long car ride, Maka arrived – a tiny, frightened bundle that needed nurturing and comfort.
Jessie wasn’t too keen on this interloper and so Maka was introduced slowly and carefully.
A few days later, Monty, Jessie and Maka swam together in the outdoor pool and are now slowly bonding, although Maka is still quite nervous of new sights and sounds.
We anticipate that it won’t be much longer before she is as exuberant as Monty and Jessie and the three of them can grow up together, learning beaver ways.
(These weekly 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.)