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The Return of the Beaver? Not Bieber- but Castor fiber

This is actually good news, a retired environmental scientist was able to capture on film what is believed to be the first ever wild beaver (Castor fiber) since the 16th century in England, signaling a possible return of the beaver in England.

Not Justin Bieber-The Eurasian Beaver (Castor fiber)

american beaver

Photo credit US Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia commons

The scientist, named Tom Buckley, noticed the signs of a possible wild beaver on his property and taking special interest in a tree that was noticeably “nibbled” on, he was prompted to set up wildlife capturing trail cams to hopefully catch the culprit.

Buckley commented to the Daily Mail last week that while he suspected the marks to be that of the extinct Eurasian beaver, or Castor fiber, he needed photographic evidence to make himself (and other conservationists) believers, or ‘Belieber’s.

“For me it posed the question: could it have been a beaver, or was it some kids messing about?”

This species of beaver, Castor fiber, was hunted to near complete extinction by the 1900’s for both it’s water repelling fur and castoreum (a strong smelling gland secretion unique to the species used in colognes).

It is a similar yet different type of beaver than the American beaver, they also cannot cross breed-just in case you were curious.

Successful reintroduction and breeding programs have re-surfaced this species in the eastern hemisphere. According to the Large Herbivore Network, the most successful areas being in western Europe. Biologists have predicted that over the next decade these beavers will be a common mammal, or rodent.

Perhaps the first bit of tangible evidence of the return of the wild beaver, Mr. Buckley’s trail cam, which (activated by movement) caught the chomping wood chucker in fact, felling a tree.

beaver fell tree

Castor fiber Libava
Photo By Petr Filippov FDL via Wikimedia Commons

Ironically the location of the potential damming evidence is located on the banks of the River Otter (you can read that sentence again if you like).

The nature of the rodent being nocturnal makes it difficult for us day-time humans to catch evidence of wild beavers, and searching for photographs of the elusive Castor fiber turns up mainly damaged trees, proving humans are likely still not forgiven for the mammals troubled past.

In this video, not unlike the beavers mistaken counterpart, this beaver (not Bieber) gets in trouble with speeding vehicles and also makes some wrong decisions, but thankfully gets out of the incident relatively unscathed, not before giving an awkward and embarrassed pose for the cameras though (hmmm-coincidence?).

Feature image is of an American beaver that he was happily sitting back and munching on something. and munching, and munching…”, By Steve from washington, dc, usa (American Beaver) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

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