You knew about the big teeth. You knew about the wide, flat tail. But who knew beavers could be aggressive? On June 26 the AP reported a beaver attacked two Oregon men, who then fell into the river. The men had climbed onto a beaver dam and were attacked by the animal. Their injuries were not life-threatening, but I bet they won’t be visiting any more beaver homes!
Beavers dam streams to create productive wetlands. According to Beavers: Wetlands & Wildlife, almost half of endangered and threatened species in North America rely upon wetlands. Wetlands ease flooding, lesson erosion, and purify water, lessening treatment for human use. Wetlands are an economic boon, and by creating and maintaining them, beavers provide essential services to people.
A Native American word for beaver also means “affable,” a word which, under normal circumstances, describes the demeanor of the intelligent little mammal. More and more, humans and wildlife are crossing paths, but intentional intrusion such as the above are foolish and merit defensive action by a beneficial species.
Check out my article, Beavers in the House, in BoysQuest Magazine, April, 2015, about Dorothy Richards, who helped repopulate the Adirondacks.