This is from the news roundup today “The top of the hill” in the Newtown Bee. Another wayward disperser, this time with a happy ending.
The Kneen family found quite a surprise in their garage, Tuesday morning: a large beaver. “We’re baffled where he came from,” said Liz Kneen. The family lives near Hattertown Pond, and she hates to think another territorial beaver booted “Mr B” out, but there he was, hiding in her garage, scared and confused. (As were they, initially!) She suspects Mr B wandered in when the garage door was left open earlier in the morning.
Adorable as he looks, a garage is hardly a good environment for a beaver. Several phone calls later, Liz found someone to set up a Hav-A-Hart trap in the evening, baited with luscious lettuce. By then, says Liz, Mr B had fallen asleep in the garage, using their lawn mower for a pillow.
Some people get all the luck! I’m sure we all want a beaver in our garage. But the Kneens were gracious hosts, and did everything right for this furry fugitive. Remember that dispersal is the most dangerous time in a beavers life. No family, no shelter, and often no food. And if Mom and Dad are downstream and another big beaver family is upstream there is only one direction to go: over land. And no beaver knows where that might take them.
During the night, sure enough, they heard a racket and ran down, expecting to find Mr B in the trap. But no. Instead, he was chewing on the garage cable. “I opened the garage door then, and he must have scooted out later in the night, because he was gone in the morning,” she says. The Kneens are positive that Mr B left, and was not hiding elsewhere in the garage. They had put a line of flour just outside the garage door, and tracks led away into the woods. At least he left with a full stomach.
“He ate all the lettuce around the trap, but didn’t go in,” says Liz.
I love this story with a fiery passion. And it is so very plucky of the little wanderer to take full advantage of the lettuce while never triggering the trap. You can practically hear him, picking his way past the springs to forage for the greens. “Nasty metal thing, but shame to let all this delicious lettuce go to waste”.
This rivals but does not beat my favorite disperser photo. The Dallas family was not nearly so kind to the visitor, but the picture is priceless:
Speaking of precious photos, guess when the Milford Daily News fixed their stolen lead problem yesterday? Never! The reporter got in touch and said the photo had run in 2012 in their paper. I pointed out that just because they had stolen it earlier did not make it there’s. The office assured me it would be changed. But it never was and now never will be. Grr.
I was so busy fussing about their robbery that I never got a chance to share this photo with you, taken by Lewis Kemper of two beavers grooming on the American River in Sacramento. It’s definitely something special.
I love how there is really not distinction made between grooming one’s self and grooming your sibling. To a beaver, either one feels terrific.