Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Should Aggressive Lake Beavers Be Euthanized?
Bad beaver behavior at the University Lake dog park has many pet parents concerned about close encounters.
If you take your dog to the University Lake dog park you may have seen the signs warning about aggressive beavers. They were put up after half a dozen dogs were attacked in recent weeks.
For the most part the attacks have taken place in the water near three beaver lodges on the south and east sides of the lake. Andrew Weare goes there almost every day with his dog and says he has seen several close encounters.
“I've seen some very close shaves of dogs getting out just in time when the beaver appeared just eight feet away,” says Weare. “Luckily it smacked its tail on the water which alerted the dog who safely got out, but that's not always going to be the case.”
And it isn’t just pets who’ve seen the beavers up close. Mona Widger was on the trail when she spotted the animals just off shore.
“The beaver was slapping its tail at the people walking by and then it made a little run to the shore at which time everybody was like ‘we're out of here!’” says Widger.
The beaver tales are definitely making dog owners wary. Many are thinking twice before they let their dogs swim or at least making sure there are no signs of beavers in the water.
Officials at the Department of Fish and Game say that’s a good idea this time of year because the beavers are defending their young .
“The beavers at University Lake aggressively defend their babies when the dogs enter the water and they've gotten proactive in their defense. They don't wait ‘til the dogs start harassing them,” says biologist Jessy Coltrane, “they don't want the dogs anywhere near the lodge.”
Coltrane says Fish and Game has no plans to relocate or even kill the beavers because the problem can be avoided if dog owners keep their pets out of the water near the lodges.
They also say the animals should become less aggressive in the weeks ahead when their young ones grow a little bigger.