Ontario woman drives sick beaver to wildlife sanctuary 400 km away

Sick beaver

Can a good deed get any more Canadian than this?

When Mary Herbert saw Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary’s plea for someone to drive an ailing beaver to a more specialized facility, it didn’t take long for the self-confessed beaver fan to respond.

The beaver was found dehydrated, underweight, and lethargic in an Ottawa-area backyard by residents who later brought it to Rideau Valley. But because the wildlife sanctuary wasn’t properly equipped to treat and house the animal through winter, it needed to be transported to Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Rosseau, Ontario.

Rideau Valley posted their request for a beaver taxi to Twitter and Facebook on Tuesday with the hope of finding a generous wildlife-lover like Herbert.

“I looked at my husband and said ‘I can do that, I’m free tomorrow,'” Herbert told The Canadian Press. “I love animals. It’s really nice to be able to help wildlife out. It’s not an opportunity many get.”

The next morning she picked up the 18-month-old beaver, who was safely stowed away in a cat carrier, and began the nearly five-hour journey across the province.

As if it weren’t a long enough drive to begin with, she also had to keep an eye on the beaver, and was asked to keep the car radio off so that it could ride in silence.

Again, Herbert was happy to oblige.

“It was a beautiful, quiet drive,” she told CBC. “He made no noise at all, so I have to say I was a little apprehensive as to what I was finding when I got [to Rosseau].”

All things considered, Aspen Valley’s managing director, Howard Smith, said the beaver arrived in pretty good shape.

It’s still unclear what exactly happened to the young beaver, but it somehow became separated from its parents.

The good news is that this new addition to Aspen Valley can spend the winter in the wildlife sanctuary’s indoor water enclosure. According to reports, it will likely be released next spring.