An aggressive beaver has been terrorizing pets and swimmers along the Somass River in Port Alberni, but B.C. conservation officers aren’t touching it.
“He’s got some pretty big ferocious claws and teeth,” Fiona Gibson, a community member who was once charged by the beaver, told CTV News. “He came at me! I was surprised, it’s not something you expect from a beaver or a rodent.”
But this beaver, which the community named “Justin,” has become notorious for its erratic behaviour—much like its namesake.
According to reports, the animal will attack anyone who enters the waterfront, and that includes dogs. Resident Mark Thomson’s dog was attacked by the beaver years ago, and was left with a bloody wound on his abdomen.
“The beaver went under, grabbed Max, picked him up, and then brought him back down,” Thomson said.
Knowing what the beaver’s done on land, Gibson is even more concerned about what the animal’s capable of doing to swimmers and pets in the water. She and other residents want something done about it, before things get worse.
The conservation service has received reports about the beaver, but there’s nothing they can do about the animal, which they say is merely defending itself.
Although a beaver can inflict serious harm on someone—in 2013 one bit a fisherman, who later bled to death—conservation officer Daniel Eichstadter confirmed with CTV News that they would not be relocating the animal. Instead, the conservation service says the public needs to do their part by staying away from it and keeping their dogs on leashes.