Beavers invade Canada’s capital

First-time visitors to Canada’s capital might expect to see families of beavers lazing along the banks of the Rideau Canal, greeting tourists with a friendly tail-slap on the water’s surface. But according to city planners in Ottawa, the reality of the urban beaver population looks a little more like a B-movie infestation.

According to the Ottawa Sun, between 2,500 and 5,000 beavers now live within Ottawa’s city limits, and the population continues to grow. The problem, city officials say, is that beavers are building dams near bridges and road culverts, causing floods that can damage roads.

Though local farmers reportedly kill approximately 150 beavers each year to avoid the damage they cause, their increasing numbers pose a growing problem for Ottawa, and the city recently published a 50-page wildlife strategy for coping with them.

Among the plans under consideration are “beaver deceivers,” which fence off culverts to prevent dam building, though their effectiveness has come under question.

Other animals addressed in the wildlife strategy include Canada geese, wild turkeys, coyotes, and white-tailed deer.

If you’re still wondering, as we were, how a “beaver deceiver” works, here’s a video that explains the concept:

(Via Heidi Perryman)