Beavering away

February 10, 2009

Recalcitrant rodent’s liberty “a pain in the arse”

News comes, via the inimitable Lewis Page, of a German beaver who slipped his leash, and is even now “toppling poplar and willow trees like ninepins for sport and nourishment”.

The 40kg-rodent’s escape is thought to have been precipitated by a short-circuit in the electric fence surounding his pen, a stratagem that might have been anticipated, since Castor is known to dam watercourses as a matter of habit.

If our furry friend can be persuaded to relinquish the joys of the English riviera, he might yet restore Scotland’s wilderness to its Pleistocene glory.

Beavers who find themselves in the Uttermost Part of the Earth, meanwhile, face extermination, in spite of their usefulness to the Argentine fur industry. Sadly these fine fellows are identified as C. canadensis, and must therefore forego a job-swap with their European counterparts, attractive though that prospect might be.