(Castor canadensis). Patient Number 22-631.
Date of admission: June 16, 2022.
Reason for admission: Orphaned and displaced.
The North American beaver is a semi-aquatic mammal found throughout the majority of the United States and Canada and is the largest rodent in North America. They can grow to weigh between 25 and 70 pounds and have very distinct features which make them easily recognizable. They are known for their webbed feet, long front teeth which they keep short by gnawing on trees, and their long, flat, black tails. These tails not only help it to swim faster but are also used to make alarm calls to signal danger by slapping it against the water. They are monogamous and typically mate for life.
Beavers are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night; they have an excellent sense of smell but have poor sight and hearing. Because they spend a lot of their time in the water, beavers are equipped with transparent eyelids which help them see underwater. They also have scent glands on their underside which secretes a liquid that covers their fur and makes it waterproof.
This North American beaver was rescued after his dam was washed away due to high water levels on the Red Deer River. There was no sign of parents or other siblings, so he was brought to AIWC for care. Although he is growling daily and is bright and alert, we have a long road ahead of us, and he will likely remain in care at AIWC for quite some time. In the wild, young beavers do not disperse from their parents for 2-3 years so this little one will be in our care until spring 2024. Until then, he will be provided with a natural environment and all the care he needs to grow into a healthy and strong beaver before returning to the wild. Thank you for helping to support his care!