“Is this real life?”
This comment, uttered by Joanna Vlamakis, perfectly sums up the feelings of patrons at Romano’s Pizza last week when they saw an unusual customer wandering around outside of the restaurant: a beaver. It was a surreal sight, to be sure. The beaver can be seen taking a leisurely stroll down the middle of the street, apparently unperturbed by its urban surroundings.
Vlamakis was at work at the Saint John, New Brunswick pizza joint when one of the pizza delivery workers pointed out the unusual customer. Vlamakis called a non-emergency police line, and soon there were squad cars on scene, along with a curious crowd. The police kept traffic away from the beaver and eventually managed to herd it back to a natural area, getting rain-drenched in the process.
Vlamakis, whose parents own Romano’s, told the CBC, “We’ve been owners for over 30 years. In all the years, I do not think we expected this.”
Dan McAlpine, a zoologist with the New Brunswick Museum, told the Daily Gleaner that there may have been a reason for the beaver’s exploratory stroll. Springtime is the season when young beavers strike out on their own to set up new homes. “I suspect this was one of last year’s kits who was booted out of the old territory and was dispersing looking for a place to set up its own lodge,” McAlpine said.
Clearly, this beaver had excellent instincts—who wouldn’t want to live next to their favourite pizza joint? However, we suspect that he ultimately made a more practical housing decision, choosing to settle down somewhere a bit more remote. Besides, there’s always delivery.