Just when we thought that things were settling down for the winter, we received a phone call from another rehabilitator wondering if we could take an adult beaver for the winter. It had been found wandering around in a parking lot in a city in eastern Ontario, far from any source of water. Naturally the rehabber took it to her vet for examination, and it was found to be anaemic and riddled with fleas.
The Beav, a new arrival at Aspen, will spend the winter there recovering after being found in the downtown of an eastern Ontario city.
Like many animals that come into rescue, no one knows what had happened to this particular animal, and why it should have found its way into a downtown city.
And like all good rehabbers, she took care of the beaver’s immediate needs; but she knew that it could not be released in its current condition. It needed a place to remain and gain back its health until spring, and she did not have an appropriate place to keep it over the winter. Some people may not realize that there is a good co-operative network amongst the various rehabilitators in Ontario, and that we will do what we can to help an animal in distress. Sometimes we accept an animal from somewhere else, and sometimes we need to find another place to send an animal. Either way, the good relationships that we have with other sanctuaries in Ontario allow animals to be where they can best be cared for. In this particular case, we are known to be able to care for beavers, and we readily agreed to take on the care of this new one, known only as “The Beav.” He arrived late last week and is already settling in nicely in his new enclosure, enjoying sweet potatoes and other goodies.
Because of the territorial nature of beavers, The Beav cannot go in with the three young ones, nor Bucky and Brooke (our permanent beavers) – that means more ponds to clean out daily and more enclosures to clean.
In addition to the beavers, we have to consider Wilder the otter’s needs as well. Right now staff members are making do, but ideally we need a new semi-aquatic building for winter housing of these animals. We are working on the plans, but have little funding at the moment to construct such a building.
We hope that someday the future will include a semi-aquatic building to house all of our water-loving mammals over the winter months at Aspen.
(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.)