On March 19th 2013, WRCNU received two beaver yearlings saturated in diesel fuel from a Chevron pipeline break the day prior. The fuel flowed into their wetland area on the 18th and completely soaked the two youngsters who were rescued by a Utah DNR official and brought to the Center. See news footage of the initial two here: http://www.ksl.com/?sid=24485383&nid=148&title=hero-beavers-struggling-to-survive-effects-of-fuel-spill&fm=home_page&s_cid=queue-13
A third beaver kit arrived two days later also saturated in diesel fuel, but surprisingly seemed to be in better shape. WRCNU has now determined that this third kit likely was not related to the first two and swam into the spill area where it came in contact with the toxic substance and was later rescued by DNR.
Three more beavers arrived eight days after the pipeline break brining the total number of beaver victims due to the fuel spill to six: one adult and five youngsters. An adult mother and her two yearly kits arrived on the 27th of March after 8-9 days of living in the fuel soaked environment of their lodge. Wildlife officials from Utah DNR had to dismantle the large lodge “stick by stick” to gain access to the chamber where the mother and her two kits were hiding. The environment of the chamber was heavy with fuel vapors and all three beavers were covered in the toxic liquid. View the following news video for more detail: http://www.kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_4332.shtml
By the 28th of March WRCNU recognized that the initial three beavers were progressing very well and the goal of eventually being able to release them back into the wild was looking more hopeful although they were not out of the woods yet. As for the last three, WRCNU is still very concerned for their recovery—they sat covered in the fuel for at least 8 days, consumed it with their food, breathed it with every breathe and so their general health was far more degraded than the original three. These last three came in with their skin sloughing off and massive amounts of their undercoat of fur falling out—this was not a normal shedding of the fur, but rather it was hair loss due to extreme exposure to the toxic fuel on their skin. The next two news videos express our concerns about the beavers’ health quite well.
Finally on a “bit more lighter side” we would like to share some amazing letters written to the beavers by a class of 5th graders from Century Elementary out of Bear River City—“out of the mouths of babes” we get the sense these young students truly understand how important these amazing beaver are to our area. Thank you Ms Shea’s class for these great letters! This link will take you to theWildlifeRehabilitationCenter’s Facebook photo album “Letters to the Beavers From Kids.” Enjoy!
For all the latest on what is happening with the beavers and other happenings at WRCNU please visit and “Like” our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wildlife-Rehabilitation-Center-of-Northern-Utah/163724043673090 .
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