December 31, 2008

Escaped beaver fells trees 20 miles away

The British owner of an escaped 84-pound beaver said trees believed to have been felled by the animal have been found 20 miles away from its former home.

Derek Gow, the beaver's owner, said the large male escaped a Lifton, England, animal sanctuary along with two females when an electric fence broke in October, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

Gow said the females were quickly recaptured but the male seemed to have vanished completely until signs of the animal's presence were found two weeks ago in the town of Gunnislake, 20 miles from the sanctuary.

The beaver owner said several gnawed trees were found along a riverbank in the town and the presence of other beavers is unlikely, as they have been extinct in Britain for 500 years.

Gow said he is working to recapture the fugitive beaver.

He's looking for a lady beaver so we will bait a trap with scent from one of the females. He won't be able to resist, Gow said.